FBMKLCI marks 4th straight day of losses as trade war tensions weigh again

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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 7): External factors weighed on the FBMKLCI on Friday, which extended its losses for the fourth consecutive day as blue chips declined.

Lee Cherng Wee, a senior analyst at JF Apex Securities Bhd, said the local bourse's continued slide was mainly due, once again, to escalating US-China trade war tension, followed by the arrest of Huawei Executive Meng Wanzhou.

The benchmark index settled at 1,680.54 points at 5pm, down 0.17% or 2.8 points, as blue chips like Public Bank Bhd and Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd (PChem) retreated.

The stock exchange recorded a turnover of 1.91 billion shares valued at RM1.51 billion. Decliners battered advancers 396 to 290 while 435 stocks were unchanged.

Notable losers included Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd and Ajinomoto (Malaysia) Bhd, while gainers included Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd (F&N), Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd and Scientex Bhd.

Bumi Armada Bhd, My E.G. Services Bhd (MyEG) were the most actively traded stocks of the day, with Bumi Armada rising 3.12% and MyEG slipping 0.87%.

Across the region, Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.82%, while South Korea's Kospi gained 0.34%; the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite inched up 0.03%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 0.35%.

Reuters reported that Asian shares fought to sustain the slimmest of recoveries on Friday, amid speculation the Federal Reserve might be “one-and-done” with US rate hikes, while oil fell anew as producers bickered over the details of an output cut.

“There were no escaping concerns over Sino-US relations after the arrest of smartphone maker Huawei Technologies Co Ltd Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou threatened to chill talks on some form of trade truce,” it added.