KLCI dips 0.40%, dour U.S. economic data drags region

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 16): The FBM KLCI fell 0.40% in early trade Thursday, tracking regional losses as Wall Street fell on dour economic data.

At 9.05am, the FBM KLCI fell 5.57 points to 1,382.22.

The top losers included Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Aeon Crdeit Service (M) Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bdh, Mega First Corp Bhd, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd and Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd.

The gainers included Nestle (M) Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Keluarga Bhd, Bursa Malaysia Bhd, MISC Bhd, Greatech Technology Bhd and Padini Holdings Bhd.

Bloomberg reported Asian stocks declined after a weak session on Wall Street, as bleak retail, manufacturing and homebuilding data added to concerns about a severe U.S. recession. Oil steadied near its lowest in two decades.

Shares from Sydney to Seoul retreated, though declines were shallower than those seen in the U.S. overnight. Contracts on the S&P 500 also slipped after the gauge lost more than 2% on Wednesday, when all major sectors dropped. Financial shares slid as Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s investment portfolio took a hit from the coronavirus pandemic, while Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc. followed rivals in setting aside billions for loan losses. Treasuries held their gains, while the dollar continued to climb, it said.

JF Apex Securities Research said US markets tumbled overnight led by banking, energy and material counters after disappointing quarterly results as well as retail sales data.

It said that earlier, European stocks declined over concerns on the global economy as a result of the coronavirus.

“On the local market, the FBM KLC rose 16.13 points to 1387.79 points.

“Following the bearish performances in the US and Europe, the FBM KLCI could retrace towards the support of 1370 points,” it said.

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