KLCI drops 1.35% on concern over coronavirus impact

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 28): The FBM KLCI dropped 21.17 points or 1.35% today, mirroring the downtrend in regional stock markets as investor sentiment was hit by concerns over the impact of the coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China.

The benchmark index closed the day at 1,551.64, with declining stocks topping gainers by 733 to 158 in the broader market. A total of 3.36 billion shares were traded for a total value of RM2.89 billion.

MIDF Research’s head of research Mohd Redza Abdul Rahman said concerns over the spread of the virus will result in an overreaction in markets, causing shares to retreat at a faster rate than they should.

However, he said it is too early to panic, noting that China has taken various actions to contain the spread of the virus.

“[On the plus side], this presents an opportunity for shrewd investors to look for bargains,” he told theedgemarkets.com

The KLCI’s decline was led by Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (down 46 sen or 6.73% to RM6.37), Sime Darby Plantation Bhd (down 29 sen or 5.49% to RM4.99) and Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd (downl 28 sen or 4.05% to RM6.64).

Healthcare stocks bucked the trend with the healthcare index rising 5.32% to 1,435.29.

Regionally, Asian stocks extended a global selloff as the outbreak in China, which has killed 106 people and spread to several countries, fuelled concern over the damage to the world's second largest economy, Reuters said.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index fell 0.55%, while South Korea’s Kospi plunged 3.09%. Markets in mainland China and Hong Kong remained closed for the Chinese New Year.