KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 19): The FBM KLCI drifted lower today on profit taking, amid fears of a more uncertain outlook following the impeachment of US President Donald Trump.
At the end of trading hours today – which ended abruptly at 4.45pm, with Bursa Securities announcing that the matter is being investigated, without elaborating – the KLCI was down 0.21% or 3.39 points at 1,595.72.
Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd vice president of equity research Vincent Lau told theedgemarkets.com that the profit taking came after the strong surge in the benchmark index on Wednesday, which saw it climb 1.41% or 22.16 points higher to close at 1,599.11.
He also attributed the sluggish performance seen in the KLCI today to the impeachment of Trump, which has cast more uncertainties on outlook. Nevertheless, he said the KLCI should still end the year at no less than 1,600, after factoring in the usual year-end window dressing initiatives.
Trading volume declined to 2.11 billion shares worth RM1.7 billion from yesterday's 2.5 billion shares worth RM2.03 billion. Market breadth was negative with 538 decliners compared to 262 gainers, while 425 counters traded unchanged.
The top decliners included IHH Healthcare Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Lebtech Bhd, Inari Amertron Bhd and Petronas Gas Bhd. Inari also topped the actives list, together with Priceworth International Bhd, KNM Group Bhd, Ekovest Bhd and Yong Tai Bhd.
The gainers, meanwhile, included Nestle (M) Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd and Heineken Malaysia Bhd
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.29% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 0.30%. While South Korea's Kospi edged up 0.08%.
Reuters reported that Asian shares pulled back from a one-and-a-half year peak on Thursday as investors booked profits ahead of the holidays and awaited further data on the state of the global economy. Investors were also watching proceedings in Washington where the Democrat-led US House of Representatives voted to impeach Republican's Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
Separately, Bursa Securities said in a statement that the exchange would not reopen the securities market for trading following the abrupt halt at 4.45pm, 15 minutes ahead of market close.
"The last traded price will be used as the reference price. The matter is currently being investigated. We will notify all relevant parties as soon as the issue has been resolved.