Weak regional markets drag KLCI down

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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 6): Malaysian stocks finished lower today in line with the slide in most regional markets.

The FBM KLCI was down 6.51 points or 0.38% at 1,718.33, dragged by index-linked key blue chips. Market breadth was negative with 431 decliners, 346 advancers and 448 counters unchanged on Bursa Malaysia.

Trading volume fell to 1.58 billion shares worth RM2.26 billion compared with Tuesday's 1.84 billion shares worth RM2.23 billion.

Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd senior analyst Kenneth Leong said the KLCI closed in negative territory today in tandem with the regional markets due to the sell-off in technology shares.

“The weaknesses are in tandem with regional key indices. We did see some weaknesses in the banking counters like Hong Leong Bank Bhd (HLBB), Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd (HLFG) and Malayan Banking Bhd today, which contributed to the weakness in KLCI.

“Other blue chips, most of them are also in negative sentiment mainly due to quick sell-off from the last minute rally on Tuesday,” he told theedgemarkets.com today.

Leading the top losers on Bursa were HLBB, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, HLFG and United Plantations Bhd.

Leong is expecting the KLCI to hover between the 1,710 to 1,730 levels.

Across Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 was down 1.97%, South Korea's Kospi fell 1.42% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng decreased by 2.14%.

Reuters reported that Nikkei share average posted its biggest fall in 8½ months on Wednesday as investors rushed to lock in gains after it broke below the key technical support from its 25-day moving average.

Market sentiment was also bruised by news that the US President Donald Trump will recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and set in motion the relocation of the US Embassy to the ancient city, a move that is feared could fuel violence in the Middle East.