KLCI down 10.82 points as escalating US-China trade war hits sentiment

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 18): The FBM KLCI fell 10.82 points or 0.6% on profit taking and as the escalating US-China trade war hurt market sentiment. At 5pm, the KLCI settled at 1,792.94 points after falling to its intraday low of 1,788.52 points.

Investors took profit today after the KLCI rose 11.16 points to 1,803.76 points on Friday. Today, selling was seen among KLCI-linked banking stocks, which, partly led to the 226.87 point or1.27% drop in Bursa Malaysia's finance index at 17,696.57 points.

Malaysian shares resumed trading today after markets were closed yesterday in lieu of Malaysia Day which fell on Sunday.

Today, Malaysian shares took cue from the escalating US-China trade war. Reuters reported that investors were nervous after US President Donald Trump imposed 10 percent tariffs on an additional US$200 billion worth of Chinese imports, and warned of duties on more products if China took retaliatory action.

It was reported that Asian shares spent most of the morning in negative territory although the reaction was a little muted because Tuesday's announcement was in line with expectations and had been baked into prices. It was reported that China said on Tuesday it has no choice but to retaliate against new US trade tariffs, risking even stronger action from Trump in an escalation of the trade war between the world's largest economies.
 
In Malaysia, Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd head of research Victor Wan told theedgemarkets.com that the strong indication that China will retaliate against the US tariff on imports from China is weighing on Asian markets.

“Yesterday, regional markets were not performing well, and Bursa was showing a delayed reaction today. Although regional indices rebounded today, we don’t think that is sustainable,”  Wan said.

Across Bursa Malaysia today, trading volume was 1.79 billion shares worth RM1.98 billion. Among the 30 KLCI stocks, top decliners in percentage terms were IHH Healthcare Bhd, RHB Bank Bhd and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd.