KLCI down on regional losses; Ringgit weakens

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 29): The FBM KLCI fell 5.11 points or 0.32% while the ringgit depreciated to a new point at 4.4812 against the US dollar in step with Asian share and currency losses.

The KLCI closed at 1,603.32 points at 5pm. Across Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index slumped 4.05% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 2.97%. The Shanghai Composite declined 2.02%.

According to Reuters, Asian shares skidded to 3½-year lows and the dollar sagged on Tuesday, pulled down by sharp losses on Wall Street after weak Chinese data rekindled worries about its fragile economy.

In Malaysia, a remisier told theedgemarkets.com that the KLCI’s performance today could be attributed to the weak ringgit, exit of foreign funds and Glencore effect.

Reuters reported that giant mining and trading firm Glencore, whose shares fell by almost a third on Monday on investor concern over its debt levels, eked out gains of 9% in early London trade but only after its Hong Kong-listed shares fell more than 30%.

In Malaysia, the remisier said: “I think the weak ringgit and the exit of foreign funds, which go hand in hand with the uncertainty of the US Federal Reserve’s decision on interest rates, have been in play for a while.”

“But the Glencore issue is the latest development that investors are keeping an eye on,” he said.

In currency markets, the ringgit weakened against the US dollar ahead of the maturity of some RM11 billion worth of Malaysian government bonds tomorrow. This led to concerns that foreign owners of the bonds may sell their investments, a move which will weaken the ringgit further.

At Bursa Malaysia today, the exchange churned out 598 decliners versus 227 gainers. The bourse saw 1.69 billion shares valued at RM1.97 billion changed hands.

Top decliners included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd and Nestle (M) Bhd.

Put warrants linked to the Hang Seng dominated Bursa Malaysia top gainers as investors bought the warrants to hedge against broader market losses.

Bursa Malaysia’s most-actively traded stock was newly-listed Al-Salam Real Estate Investment Trust.

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