KLCI down as Iran retaliation news hit equities

KLCI down as Iran retaliation news hit equities
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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 8): The FBM KLCI fell in afternoon trades today with global shares after Iran fired rockets at US-led forces in Iraq in retaliation to the US air strike which killed top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani on Friday.

At Bursa Malaysia today, the KLCI fell 21.85 points or 1.36% to 1,589.19 at 3:42pm. Across Bursa, volume was 3.18 billion shares worth RM1.57 billion.

At 3:48pm, Bursa top decliners included Nestlé (M) Bhd, PPB Group Bhd and Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd.

DBS Group Research wrote in note today that the market sentiment pendulum continues to swing between recovery hopes and geopolitical risks.

"Risk aversion had the upper hand this morning. Iran fired missiles into an Iraqi airbase housing US troops, five days after the US drone attack that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.

"A flight to safety led USDJPY below 108 again and gold prices to US$1600/oz. Interestingly, Brent crude oil prices did not spike above US$70/barrel. For now, the US-Iran conflict is seen hurting demand with no imminent threat of oil supply disruptions," DBS said.

Globally, Reuters reported that Asian shares tumbled on Wednesday, while oil, safe-haven Treasury prices and gold shot higher after Iran fired rockets at US-led forces in Iraq, stoking fears of a wider conflict in the Middle East.

"Iran's missile attacks on the Ain Al-Asad air base and another in Erbil, Iraq, early in the day came hours after the funeral of an Iranian commander whose killing in a US drone strike has intensified tensions in the region," Reuters reported.