FBM KLCI down 0.72% on profit taking as US bond yield rise hits world markets

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 5): The FBM KLCI closed down 12.96 points or 0.72% today after local institutional investors took profit and as higher US government bond or Treasury yields at above 3% hit Asian financial markets.

It was reported that US Treasury yields surged to a fresh seven-year high as strong US economic data led to anticipation of faster-than-expected interest rate rise there.

At Bursa Malaysia, the KLCI settled at 1,777.15 points at 5pm after falling to its intraday low at 1,776.52 points.

Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd research head Pong Teng Siew told theedgemarkets.com that "the negative market performance today could be due to profit-taking by local funds and increase in US bond yields".

Across Bursa Malaysia, the biggest decliners included KLCI-linked stocks Nestle (M) Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd, Axiata Group Bhd and Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd.

Asian stock markets slipped. Japan's Nikkei 225 dropped 0.8%, South Korea's Kospi fell 0.31% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 0.19%.

Bloomberg reported that Asian stock markets rounded out a tough week with modest declines amid some signs of market stabilisation following this week’s surge in bond yields. Treasuries steadied and the dollar held gains for the week as traders turned their focus to US employment data Friday.

“Investors will keep a close eye on Friday’s monthly US payrolls report after the sell-off in bonds that’s been in part triggered by data underscoring the strength of the American economy. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell also stoked the surge in yields this week when he said the central bank could eventually boost its benchmark past the neutral level,” Bloomberg reported.