KLCI cuts losses after final-hour plunge

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KUALA LUMPUR (July 14): The FBM KLCI closed down 7.68 points or 0.48% at 1,598.75 today after cutting losses following a sharp final-hour drop and as investors weighed a confluence of factors including fresh Covid-19 restrictions in the US besides the US-China trade tension.

At Bursa Malaysia, share prices of KLCI-linked rubber glove manufacturers Top Glove Corp Bhd and Hartalega Holdings Bhd slumped as much as 15% during the final hour of trading before paring losses when markets closed.

Another KLCI constituent Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd closed down at its intraday low after a final-hour plunge.

“Today's (Malaysian stock market) performance was (due to) a confluence of different factors, for example, you have fresh Covid-19 restrictions in the US, the overnight (share price) fall on Wall Street, US-China trade tension,” Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd research vice president Vincent Lau told theedgemarkets.com.

Across Bursa at 5pm, the bourse saw 8.76 billion securities worth RM8.22 billion traded. There were 770 decliners versus 304 gainers.

Top decliners included Hartalega, Top Glove and Hap Seng Consolidated.

Hartalega ended down 90 sen or 5.03% at RM17 after falling as much as RM2.62 or 15% to RM15.28.

Top Glove finished 84 sen or 3.5% lower at RM23.16 after dropping as much as RM3.50 or 15% to RM20.50.

Hap Seng Consolidated closed at its intraday low of RM8.61 after slumping 41 sen or 4.55%.

Globally, it was reported that emerging markets stocks fell on Tuesday after Covid-19 cases continued to rise globally and economic growth forecasts were cut further, with currencies taking a hit from a firmer dollar as US-China tensions flared.

Global coronavirus cases topped 13 million on Monday, while a return to curbs for the US state of California revived worries over whether the virus can cause more economic damage, Reuters reported.

In Malaysia today, MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Bhd analysts wrote in a note that MIDF expects another wave of selling pressure in the equity market as the real extent of economic and corporate earnings impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic manifests.

"However, the forthcoming wave of selling pressure may be moderated somewhat by the sheer amount of liquidity in the financial system," they said.