KLCI down 0.42% in line with the regional pullback

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KUALA LUMPUR (June 19): The FBM KLCI was down 0.42% at mid-morning today, in line with the pullback at most regional markets as the tariff tit-for-tat between the US and China intensified.

At 10am, the FBM KLCI fell 7.25 points to 1,736.18.

Losers led gainers by 269 to 200, while 274 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 466.48 million shares valued at RM265.42 million.

The decliners included Nestle (M) Bhd, Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd and British American Tobacco (M) Bhd.

The actives included Nova MSC Bhd, My E.G. Services Bhd, Kretam Holdings Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, Priceworth International Bhd and Multi Sports Holdings Ltd.

The gainers included Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd, Apex Healthcare Bhd and Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd.

Asian stocks extended a global downturn on Tuesday, while the safe-haven yen rose as US President Donald Trump threatened new tariffs on Chinese goods in an escalating tit-for-tat trade war between the world's two biggest economies that has rattled financial markets, according to Reuters.

Trump warned on Monday that Washington would impose a 10% tariff on US$200 billion of Chinese goods after Beijing's decision to raise tariffs on US$50 billion in US goods. Trump said if China increases its tariffs again in response to the latest US move, "we will meet that action by pursuing additional tariffs on another US$200 billion of goods", according to the newswire.

Hong Leong IB Research in a traders' brief said the ongoing trade war episode between the US and China could dampen overall trading activities on the stock markets, resulting in a negative bias trading tone over the near term.

"Also, investors may focus on the Fed Chair Jerome Powell and ECB President (Mario) Draghi speeches tomorrow as well as some economic data (crude oil inventories and Philadelphia Fed manufacturing Index) this week.

On the local market, it said that internally, investors may need to digest any new policies or news related to the 100-day manifesto by the Pakatan Harapan-led government, which may dictate the direction of the local market.

"Hence, the trading tone on the FBM KLCI could still be on a consolidation mode over the near term," it said.