KLCI drifts lower; regional markets take cue from the US 

KLCI drifts lower; regional markets take cue from the US 
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KUALA LUMPUR (July 14): The FBM KLCI dropped 7.24 points or 0.48% today in line with the performance of Asian equities as investors fret over an inflation spike in the US market.

On top of that, the concern about the resurgence in new Covid-19 cases in the region has kept investors largely at the sideline.

Malaysia’s benchmark index closed at 1,512.32 today, drifting to near this year’s low of 1,508.71 recorded on July 8. 

Overnight, the US reported that its consumer price index jumped 0.9% in June and 5.4% from the same month last year, topping all forecasts and showing higher costs associated with the American economy’s reopening continue to fuel inflationary pressures.

Reuters reported that Asian shares fell on Wednesday after data showing the biggest jump in US inflation in 13 years fuelled expectations that the Federal Reserve could exit pandemic-era stimulus earlier than previously thought.

In Asia markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 gave up 0.2%, while Seoul's Kospi dropped 0.22%. In China, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.63% while the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index closed down 1.07%.

US stocks retreated on Tuesday after government data showed inflation could be gaining strength, overshadowing big earnings announcements from major banks.

Back on the home market, Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd expects some sellers to emerge.

In a note, it said stronger-than-expected inflation data spooked Wall Street as traders turned sellers.

“Though many viewed this as a temporary blip, overall sentiments are becoming increasingly jittery following a record breaking run recently. Therefore, we reckon regional markets to follow suit and should see trading to be mixed today,” it added.

Market breadth was mixed with 544 losers versus 411 losers, while 463 stocks were unchanged.  

Today’s trading volume stood at 4.38 billion shares worth RM2.97 billion.

Pasukhas Group Bhd topped the active list on the local bourse for the second day, with 241.97 million shares traded. The stock slid 10 sen or 30.3% at 23 sen.

Other actives included Serba Dinamik Holdings Bhd, Lambo Group Bhd, Sedania Innovator Bhd, Pelikan International Corp Bhd, Kanger International Bhd, Kumpulan Jetson Bhd, Kejuruteraan Asastera Bhd and AT Systematization Bhd.

Notable gainers by value were Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, Vitrox Corp Bhd, D&O Green Technologies Bhd, BLD Plantation Bhd, Greatech Technology Bhd, OCB Bhd, Kobay Technology Bhd, KESM Industries Bhd and Southern Acids (M) Bhd.

Top losers included Nestle (M) Bhd, Genetec Technology Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd, Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd, Computer Forms (M) Bhd, Kumpulan H & L High-Tech Bhd,  Petronas Dagangan Bhd, British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd and Widetech (M) Bhd.

Kathy Fong