KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 25): The FBM KLCI finished 5.49 points or 0.34% lower today, while Bursa Malaysia indices for oil and gas shares and small market capitalisation (small cap) stocks fell by larger quantums, as global investors weighed US-China trade uncertainties.
In Malaysia, the current corporate financial reporting season for the July-to-September quarter is also seen dictating share-trade sentiment. At 5pm, the KLCI finished lower at 1,591.35.
Bursa's small-cap index lost 136.55 points or 1% to 13,568.18, while the energy index, which tracks oil and gas shares, fell 17.14 points or 1.4% to 1,211.34.
"Given the weaker momentum and trend indications on KLCI's technical indicators following last week's choppy trading sessions, the local market is likely to be encumbered with external uncertainties this week, as doubts linger over the likelihood for an initial US-China trade deal, due to mutual disagreements between the two parties on certain key issues. The lack of any possibility for early resolution in Hong Kong's civil unrest, with the US deemed to be interfering with Hong Kong's domestic politics, should also see market uncertainty remaining elevated," TA Securities Holdings Bhd wrote in a note today.
Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd senior analyst Kenneth Leong told theedgemarkets.com that the KLCI started the week on a soft footing and lingered in negative territory the entire trading session, mainly due to selling pressure in selected oil & gas and telecommunication heavyweights.
"Moving forward, the KLCI might remain under pressure, in view of mixed earnings report with key support at the 1,577 level," Leong said.
Across Bursa today, there were more decliners than gainers at 549 versus 337 respectively. Total turnover stood at 2.52 billion shares, worth RM1.54 billion.
Top decliners included KLCI components Petronas Dagangan Bhd and Genting Bhd. The list includes shares of oil and gas support services provider Dayang Enterprise Holdings Bhd.
Globally, mixed news headlines on US-China trade appeared to have curbed Southeast Asian share trade sentiment. Reuters reported trading in most Southeast Asian stock markets were subdued on Monday, while Thailand eked out modest gains, as investors await concrete signals of progress in the U.S.-China trade negotiations, amid mixed headlines.
It was reported that investors welcomed signs that talks to resolve the trade row were moving to the next level, after the U.S. national security adviser Robert O'Brien said there was still a possibility of an initial "phase one" deal with China by the end of this year.
"However, he warned that events in Hong Kong, driven by months of anti-government unrest, could overshadow trade talk progress," Reuters reported.