Malaysian stocks continue decline amid geopolitical concerns

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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian shares continued its decline into negative territory today, with the FBM KLCI closing 5.86 points or 0.32% lower at 1840.19 on the back of geopolitical issues in the Middle East and Ukraine.

However, Asian stock markets recovered some of its losses after China released better-than-expected manufacturing numbers.

A bank-backed analyst said the FBM KLCI was subdued as the market continued to be cautious of the geopolitical issues in Middle East and Ukraine prolongs.

He added that on the local front, the benchmark index has been “quite flat” and was simply seeing “range-bound trading” for a few weeks now.

“Nothing much is happening in the market,” he told theedgemalaysia.com.

Nevertheless, the analyst expects the market to be more exciting after Budget 2015 is unveiled by the government.

“Players are now waiting on the sidelines for the Budget 2015 announcements. For some, this is a good time to accumulate on those counters that had declined.

“But, whether the market will react positively to the announcements will depend on what those announcements are. It could go either way,” he added.

He reckoned that the FBM KLCI’s future in the middle to long term should be “positive” as it has only declined by about 1% year-to-date.

At the end of trading, Bursa Malaysia saw 2.35 billion shares traded worth RM2.24 billion. Overall, there were 284 gainers, 527 decliners and 330 unchanged counters.

Today’s top gainers were Lay Hong Bhd, PPB Group Bhd and Warisan TC Holdings Bhd.

Top decliners were British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd, Genting Plantations Bhd and Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd.

Penny stocks like Ni Hsin Resources Bhd, Focus Dynamics Technologies Bhd and Dutaland Bhd were Bursa’s most actively traded stocks.

Regionally, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, South Korea’s Kospi and Japan’s Nikkei were lower by 0.49%, 0.51% and 0.71% respectively.