FBM KLCI extends losses as Asian markets fall

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 18): The FBM KLCI extended losses today after closing down 1.17 points or 0.07% at 1,619.73 as investors evaluated the depreciating ringgit's impact on Malaysian financial markets.

At 5pm, the KLCI settled at 1,619.73 on bargain hunting after falling to its intraday low at 1,609.83 in line with weakness across Asian stock markets. The KLCI extended losses today after falling 8.56 points or 0.53% yesterday.

Today, Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd senior analyst Kenneth Leong told theedgemarkets.com the KLCI's weakness stemmed from the depreciating ringgit against the US dollar amid falling crude oil prices.

“Nevertheless, we could be seeing some bargain hunting activities (in the KLCI) materialising in coming days after the local bourse formed a hammer candle today and recovered most of its intraday losses in the second half of the trading session. The recovery, however, may be capped towards the 1,640 level as the key index is still on a downtrend," Leong said.

In currency markets, the ringgit depreciated to its weakest level today against the US dollar at 4.1495. As of writing, the ringgit was traded at 4.1440 against the greenback while Brent crude oil prices were down at about US$71 per barrel.

Across Asian stock markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 closed 0.84% down while South Korea's Kospi finished 1.43% lower. In China, the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite and Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.4% and 0.54% respectively.

Reuters reported that global shares erased this week's gains on Thursday after weak manufacturing surveys from Asia and Europe stoked fears of a slowdown in global growth, adding to profit taking ahead of the long Easter weekend.