FBM KLCI down as Bursa small caps rise on rotational play

FBM KLCI down as Bursa small caps rise on rotational play
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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 10): The FBM KLCI closed down 2.9 points or 0.2% amid geopolitical concerns and US interest rate hike cues. Bursa Malaysia small-capitalisation (small-cap) stocks however rose on rotational interest.

At 5pm, the KLCI closed at 1,761.13 points. FTSE Bursa Malaysia ACE and FTSE Bursa Malaysia Small Cap indices rose 0.54% and 0.11% respectively.

“Blue chips (on the KLCI) are still in hibernation and appear to be extending their consolidation,” TA Securities Holdings Bhd technical analyst Stephen Soo told theedgemarkets.com.

Across Bursa Malaysia, 2.78 billion shares worth RM1.65 billion were traded. Gainers outpaced decliners at 382 and 379 respectively.

Going forward, Soo projected rotational play focused on small-cap stocks, particularly those in the oil and gas sector.

Today, the KLCI fell as investors evaluated the impact of US-North Korea geopolitical concerns and as investors anticipated a US interest rate hike this December.

Reuters reported that Russia and China both called for restraint on North Korea on Monday after US President Donald Trump warned over the weekend that "only one thing will work" in dealing with Pyongyang, hinting that military action was on his mind. Investors were particularly wary on Tuesday, when Pyongyang celebrated the founding of its ruling party, which loomed over other market factors.

Harumi Taguchi, principal economist at IHS Markit was quoted as saying in Tokyo: "We are expecting a December Fed rate hike, so we are expecting the trend to be dollar strength and yen depreciation, though whenever North Korean risks rise, that pushes down the dollar."