FBM KLCI down on profit taking amid GE14 speculation

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 2): The FBM KLCI fell 5.11 points or 0.3% on profit taking and as investors speculated on the timing of Malaysia's 14th general election (GE14). Analysts said China-US trade spat uncertainties also dictated market sentiment.

At 5pm, the KLCI closed at 1,858.35 as KLCI-linked stocks Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd and Telekom Malaysia Bhd ended among Bursa Malaysia top decliners. Investors took profit today after the KLCI rose 7.11 points on Friday.

Today, Public Investment Bank Bhd head of research Ching Weng Jin told theedgemarkets.com: "There is a lack of fresh leads for the market and the market has been weak for a while. There are no major drivers for the markets, not only locally but also globally. The markets are taking a wait and see approach amid the uncertainties locally, namely the upcoming general election, as well as abroad amid the new tariffs by US and China.

"There will not be much action in the markets until there is a bit more clarity on these developments."

Bernama reported that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak hinted today that GE14 is just around the corner. Confirming that Barisan Nasional would unveil its manifesto on April 7, he likened the countdown to getting the oil lamps ready for lighting to welcome “Raya”.

Elswhere, Reuters reported that China's Shanghai Composite index closed down 0.2 percent at 3,163.18, while the blue-chip CSI300 index was down 0.3 percent at 3,886.92. It was reported that China stocks kicked off the first quarter with mild losses on Monday, amid lingering worries of a full-blown trade war between the United States and China, and as investors assessed mixed economic readings.

In Malaysia, Areca Capital Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Danny Wong told theedgemarkets.com that investors are still looking at the US for clues on a potential trade war.

On Malaysia, Wong said investors also appeared to be warily holding back ahead of a potential dissolution of the Parliament in the near term. "It looks like the market will continue to be volatile for the time being," he said.