KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 5): The FBM KLCI took a breather today following the rapid gains since the last two weeks of 2017 to close lower amid some profit-taking activity and the general decline in global markets.
The benchmark index fell 17.41 points or 0.93% to 1,853.07. The fall marks the first significant decline in the KLCI in 2018, after peaking at around the 1,870 level last week.
PublicInvest head of research Ching Weng Jin said the decline in the index was due to profit-taking activity, but added that the fundamentals of the local market remain intact.
“The KLCI fell in line with global markets and there has been some profit-taking activity. It’s about time the market took a breather after the rapid rise since the last few weeks of 2017.
“Either way, our fundamentals are still intact so this is likely to be a short-term retreat,” said Ching.
A total of 2.64 billion shares worth RM2.85 billion were done. Market breadth was negative as 777 decliners outnumbered 211 gainers, while 435 counters were unchanged.
The top decliners were led by oil refiners Hengyuan Refining Company Bhd and Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd, as well as shipping group MISC Bhd, while the gainers were led by Nestle (M) Bhd. The top active counter was Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd.
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 2.55%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng contracted 1.09% while South Korea’s Kospi was down 1.33%
Reuters reported that Asian shares fell the most in over a year today as fears of resurgent inflation battered bonds, toppled Wall Street from record highs and sparked speculation that central banks globally might be forced to tighten policy more aggressively.