FBM KLCI down 21.56 points as corporate earnings, policy uncertainty takes centre stage

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KUALA LUMPUR (May 28): The FBM KLCI declined 21.56 points or 1.2% to close at 1,775.84 points as foreigners continued selling Malaysian shares amid uncertainty in the nation's fiscal policy.

Investors could have also taken cue from Malaysia corporate earnings and global crude oil prices as they predicted the direction of the Malaysian share market.

“The (Malaysian stock) market saw more profit taking as foreigners remained net sellers due to the uncertainty of fiscal policy. There is a concern that credit rating agencies would put Malaysia on a ratings watch, which could lead to a spike in bond yields,”  Alexander Chia, head of research at RHB Research Institute Sdn Bhd, told theedgemarkets.com.

Across Bursa Malaysia, 2.19 billion shares were traded for RM2.28 billion. Top decliners included IHH Healthcare Bhd besides oil and gas-related stocks Petronas Dagangan Bhd and Petronas Gas Bhd.

IHH fell 27 sen to RM5.99 today after the company said on Friday net profit fell to RM57.24 million in the first quarter ended March 31, 2018 from RM470.05 million a year earlier.

Today, Petronas Dagangan dropped 40 sen to RM24.82 while Petronas Gas declined 22 sen to RM17.80 as investors evaluated the impact of lower crude oil prices on world markets.

Reuters reported that oil prices fell on Monday, extending even steeper declines from Friday, as Saudi Arabia and Russia said they may increase supplies and as US production gains show no signs of abating.

Brent crude futures were at US$75.70 per barrel at 0655 GMT, down 74 cents, or 1 percent, from their last close. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at US$66.78 a barrel, down US$1.10, or 1.6 percent.

In Malaysia, markets will be closed for the Wesak Day holiday tomorrow (May 29). Trading resumes on Wednesday.