FBM KLCI finishes down on China GDP as planters fall

FBM KLCI finishes down on China GDP as planters fall
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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 18): The FBM KLCI ended 3.35 points or 0.21% lower today at 1,571.15 after China said its economy, as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP), grew 6% in the third quarter of 2019 (3Q2019) from a year earlier.

China's 3Q2019 GDP growth, which missed market forecast, slowed from 2Q2019's 6.2% expansion. Such sentiment weakened world markets because China is the world's second-largest economy and also a major importer of global goods.

Reuters reported that China's economic growth slowed more than expected to 6% year-on-year in 3Q2019, the weakest pace in at least 27½ years, as demand at home and abroad faltered amid a bruising US-China trade war.

It was reported that analysts polled by Reuters had forecast China's GDP to grow 6.1% in the July-September quarter from a year earlier. "Asian stocks stumbled on Friday, erasing earlier gains after China posted its weakest growth in nearly three decades, countering a global lift in sentiment on the UK and European Union striking a long-awaited Brexit deal," Reuters reported.

In Malaysia today, fund managers said a lack of market catalysts could have also resulted in the lower KLCI close.

“Despite the developments around Brexit, trade talks between US and China and the optimism from (Malaysia's) Budget 2020, the market declined due to a lack of catalysts,” Areca Capital Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Danny Wong Teck Meng told theedgemarkets.com.

Across Bursa Malaysia, 2.96 billion shares were exchanged for RM2.23 billion as plantation companies ended among top decliners. These included Genting Plantations Bhd, United Plantations Bhd and IOI Corp Bhd.

Gainers were led by Aeon Credit Service (M) Bhd, Scientex Bhd and Heineken Malaysia Bhd. Aeon Credit closed up 80 sen or 5.13% at RM16.40.