KLCI down on FTSE Russell warning as China data spurs risk-off mood

KLCI down on FTSE Russell warning as China data spurs risk-off mood
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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 27): The FBM KLCI closed down 8.86 points or 0.56% today at 1,584.14 in an apparent response to FTSE Russell’s statement that Malaysia will be retained on its fixed-income watch list for potential downgrade and after China reported that August industrial profits fell 2% on-year.

The KLCI fell with Asian markets amid a risk-averse global environment compounded by news on a whistleblower complaint against US President Donald Trump.

Reuters reported that most Southeast Asian stock markets edged lower on Friday, with Philippines leading the fall, as a slew of political and trade-related concerns kept risk appetite in check.

“A whistle-blower report released on Thursday said Trump not only abused his office in an attempt to solicit Ukraine's interference in the 2020 US election for his benefit, but that the White House tried to 'lock down' evidence about the conduct.

“Developments on the trade war front were quite mixed, with the US not budging to extend a temporary waiver that lets American companies work with Huawei. On the other hand, Chinese officials played up Beijing's willingness to buy more US products,” Reuters wrote.

In Malaysia today, Hong Leong Investment Bank Bhd head of retail research Loui Low told theedgemarkets.com that the market closed down in an absence of fresh catalysts and amid investors' risk-off mode.

“There is likely to be more clarity after the Budget (2020) announcement (on Oct 11)," Low said.

Across Bursa Malaysia today, volume stood at 1.88 billion shares worth RM1.33 billion. Top decliners included KLCI stocks Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd and Top Glove Corp Bhd.

Top Glove's share price closed down 15 sen or 3.18% at its intraday low of RM4.57 after the company said yesterday net profit fell to RM370.56 million in the financial year ended Aug 31, 2019 from RM424.36 million a year earlier.