FBM KLCI down 0.95%, ringgit weakens as US-China trade spat lingers

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 5): The FBM KLCI slipped 17.26 points or 0.95% with Asian markets on US-China trade war escalation concerns. Such sentiment led to the ringgit's depreciation against a strengthening US dollar.

At Bursa Malaysia, the KLCI closed at its intraday low at 1,795.5 points. Across Bursa Malaysia, 2.91 billion shares were traded for RM2.92 billion as investors took cue from Asian equity losses.

In China, the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite lost 1.68% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng  fell 2.61%. Elsewhere across Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 dropped 0.51% while South Korea's Kospi was 1.03% lower.

Reuters reported that a looming deadline in the US-China trade conflict kept the dollar near two-week highs on Wednesday, inflicting fresh losses on emerging markets and sending world stocks lower for the fourth day in a row.

It was reported that a public comment period on the possibility of fresh US tariffs on another US$200 billion of Chinese goods ends on Thursday, with expectations that the additional levies will be imposed by US President Donald Trump.

In Malaysia today, Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd vice president Vincent Lau told theedgemarkets.com that the contagion effect on emerging markets continued amid lingering US-China trade war concerns.

“Meanwhile, there is the lingering trade war concerns. This is expected to persist until central banks in emerging markets address the economic concerns that can raise market confidence.

“However, we note that our (Malaysian) fundamentals remain strong. Export counters stand to gain (as the ringgit weakened). Profit-taking was evident today. I don’t think the contagion effect will blow over soon,” Lau said.

The ringgit depreciated to 4.1477 against the US dollar at the time of writing. Over the last one year, the exchange rate was between 3.8533 and 4.2695.