KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 23): The FBM KLCI dropped 0.62% today amid news of a potential change in the Malaysian government, while other uncertainties including concerns over global economic recovery had spooked investors in Asia.
At 5pm, the index posted a 9.3-point fall to close at 1,496.48 points, dragged by declines in blue chip heavyweights including Public Bank Bhd, Malayan Banking Bhd and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd.
“There are concerns that there might be a change in government, which has likely affected sentiment,” said Kenanga Investment Bank head of research Koh Huat Soon.
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today claimed that he had garnered “formidable and convincing” support from Members of Parliament (MPs) to form a new government to replace the ruling Perikatan Nasional (PN) government, although he did not state the actual number of MPs that support him.
He added that he had received consent to have an audience with Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah.
Bursa Malaysia saw some 8.45 billion shares traded today, valued at RM4.33 billion. Market breadth was bearish, given the 788 decliners against 253 gainers.
The decliners were led by Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd and Pharmaniaga Bhd, while Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd topped the gainers.
The most actively traded counter was Advance Synergy Bhd, which saw a total of 814.8 million shares exchanged.
Regionally, Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.06%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.11%, while South Korea’s Kospi increased 0.03%.
Reuters said Asia’s stock markets struggled for gains on Wednesday and the US dollar rose to a two-month high as persistent worries about the global economic recovery had investors preferring safety.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.3% for its first gain this week, but the mood was hardly bullish.