KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 2): The FBM KLCI fell 10.18 points or 0.57% as the US-China trade war escalated after the US proposed a 25% tariff on US$200 billion worth of Chinese imports. At 5pm, the KLCI closed at 1,778.13 points.
Reuters reported today that US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Wednesday that President Donald Trump directed the increase from a previously proposed 10% duty because China refused to meet US demands and has imposed retaliatory tariffs on US goods.
It was reported that Trump's threats of higher tariffs weighed on China's financial markets. But Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang reiterated at a regular news briefing that the United States' efforts at "blackmail" would fail.
In Malaysia, Hong Leong Investment Bank Bhd head of retail research Loui Low Ley Yee told theedgemarkets.com: "The volatility will continue until the markets have seen some clarity. Positive news first, then only can we see some upside."
Across Bursa Malaysia, 2.09 billion shares were traded for RM1.99 billion. Top decliners included KLCI-linked Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd and MISC Bhd.
Asian stock markets took cue from China's share slip. In China, the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite dropped 2% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 2.21%.
Elsewhere, Japan's Nikkei 225 declined 1.03% while South Korea's Kospi fell 1.6%.