KUALA LUMPUR (July 3): The Malaysian stock market extended its downtrend today in line with regional peers amid growing concerns over the additional tariffs that the United States is due to impose on goods from China.
At 5pm, the FBM KLCI fell by 4.68 points or 0.28% to close at 1,680.37 points.
Reuters reported that most Southeast Asian stocks markets fell today as a rout in Chinese shares ahead of a US deadline for further tariffs on exports from the world's second-largest economy soured risk sentiment across the region.
Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 26.39 points or 0.12% to 21,785.54 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dropped 409.54 points or 1.41% to 28,545.57. Nearer home, Jakarta's Composite Index was down 112.83 points or 1.96% at 5,633.94 and Singapore's Straits Time Index lost 3.04 points or 0.09% to 3,235.9.
Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd's vice president of research Vincent Lau said the fall in the KLCI was mainly due to concerns on the impact of the tariffs on the economy of other countries.
"There's a lot of concern on how the trade tension between the United States and China will go from here as the tariffs will kick in by end of the week," Lau told theedgemarkets.com.
"If you look at the trade volume, it's also much lower as investors seem to prefer to stay on the sidelines while awaiting more certainty once the tariffs are implemented," he said.
He added that tit-for-tat responses by the two largest economies in the world will hurt the rest of the global economy.
Moving forward, Lau said investors will also pay attention to the direction of the yuan for further guidance.
Bursa Malaysia saw 2.1 billion shares worth RM1.66 billion traded today, with 447 decliners against 351 gainers while another 413 counters closed unchanged.
APFT Bhd was the most active counter with 85.9 million shares traded. Lebtech Bhd was the top gainer while the leading decliner was British American Tobacco (M) Bhd.