KLCI declines 0.13% as US-China trade talks end without progress

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 24): The FBM KLCI fell 2.28 points or 0.13% to 1,808.59 today after trade talks between the United States and China ended without any progress.

External headwinds weighed on investors' sentiment and put pressure on the equity market, said Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd head of research Pong Teng Siew.

"The trade spat between the US and China continues to weigh on Asian exporting countries. If you look at the local market, it was down for the entire day as the market breadth was negative," said Pong.

US and Chinese officials ended two days of talks yesterday with no major breakthrough, Reuters reported. This comes as the trade conflict between the two countries escalated with another round of duelling tariffs on US$16 billion worth of each country's goods taking effect.

Across Bursa Malaysia, there were 638 losers compared with 267 gainers while 387 counters closed unchanged. About 2.59 billion shares worth RM2.20 billion were traded.

Top decliners included Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd, British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd and Public Bank Bhd.

Elsewhere in Asia, sentiment was also affected by the failed US-China talks. Reuters added that market focus has now shifted to a speech by the Federal Reserve chairman for fresh clues on the direction of US monetary policy.

Japan's Nikkei advanced 0.85%, South Korea's KOSPI gained 0.46% and Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite rose 0.18%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 0.43% and Singapore's Straits Times Index fell 1.14%.