KUALA LUMPUR (May 3): The FBM KLCI closed 0.23 points or 0.01% lower along with regional peers. Reuters reported that Asian shares slipped on Thursday as hopes waned for real progress in Sino-US trade talks, while the US dollar consolidated recent bumper gains after the Federal Reserve reaffirmed the outlook for more rate hikes.
Areca Capital Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Danny Wong Teck Meng told theedgemarkets.com that the KLCI closed slightly lower or flat mainly because most of the market is also on the downside, but still supported by a few bluechips such as Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd and KLCC Stapled Group.
“Souring the mood were reports the Trump administration is considering executive action to restrict some Chinese companies’ ability to sell telecoms equipment in the US,” the newswire said, adding that talks between US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He are due to kick off later on Thursday.
At Bursa Malaysia, the KLCI closed at 1,851.80 points at 5pm, after rising to an intraday peak of 1,856.92 points in the afternoon.
Wong noted that sentiment remains fragile, although corporate results seem to be performing. “Investors are still waiting for fresh upside [catalysts],” he added.
“They (US Federal Reserve) are looking forward for two more hikes during the year that hopefully can cushion the inflation of 2%. The US Fed is not expected to have another hike. It’s just what is going to be the next,” said Wong.
Today, Bursa Malaysia saw 1.67 billion shares, worth RM2.19 billion, traded. Losers led gainers by 407 to 382, while 409 counters remained unchanged.
Index-linked Telekom Malaysia Bhd and Petronas Gas Bhd led the fall today.
Across Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 dropped 0.16%, South Korea's Kospi fell 0.73% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 1.34%.