KLCI down 0.55% as US-China trade tensions rattle region

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 9): The FBM KLCI was down 0.55% at the midday break, extending its loss as regional markets dropped on heightened US-China trade tensions.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI lost 8.55 points to 1,550.24.

Losers outpaced gainers by 341 to 180, while 529 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 988.55 million shares valued at RM680.79 million.

The losers included Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd, Magni-Tech Industries Bhd, KESM Industries Bhd, ViTrox Corp Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd and Pentamaster Corp Bhd.

The actives included Bumi Armada Bhd, Ekovest Bhd, Sumatec Resources Bhd, KNM Group Bhd, FGV Holdings Bhd, Iskandar Waterfront City Bhd, SDS Group Bhd and JAKS Resources Bhd.

The gainers included Allianz Malaysia Bhd, Chin Teck Plantations Bhd, MISC Bhd, United Plantations Bhd, Bintulu Port Holdings Bhd, Padini Holdings Bhd, SAM Engineering & Equipment (M) Bhd and Petra Energy Bhd.

Most Southeast Asian stock markets dropped on Wednesday, as tensions between the United States and China heightened hours ahead of high-level negotiations, denting hopes of a trade deal, according to Reuters.

Washington imposed visa restrictions on Chinese government and Communist Party officials over abuses of Muslim minorities. The move came only hours after the Trump administration widened its trade blacklist to include some of China's top artificial intelligence startups, it said.

Affin Hwang Capital Research said the FBM KLCI Index closed flat in yesterday's session, down 0.21 points or 0.01% only, closing at 1,558.79.

"The index moved up slightly before getting pushed lower to end yesterday's session near the open.

"Price has been consolidating the past two trading days. Moving forward, market anticipated to remain sideways while looking for catalysts for the near-term direction. Nonetheless, downward bias remains.

"Downward bias remains intact," it said.