KLCI drops 21.94 points after Iran retaliates against US

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 8): The FBM KLCI dropped 21.94 points or 1.36% today along with global equities after Iran fired missiles at US military bases in Iraq in retaliation to the US air strike, which killed top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani on Friday.
At 5pm today, the KLCI closed down at 1,589.1 after broad-based selling across Bursa Malaysia, where volume ended higher at 3.86 billion shares. The small-cap index finished down 310.01 points or 2.18% at 13,882.4.

"The local market was impacted by the strike from Iran [against the US]. That's the main reason for the market-wide sell down today," Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd head of research Kenny Yee told theedgemarkets.com.

Across Bursa today, 3.86 billion shares worth RM2.23 billion were traded. Yesterday 2.99 billion shares worth RM1.8 billion were transacted.

Today, 161 counters gained against 795 decliners across Bursa. Top decliners included Nestlé (M) Bhd, PPB Group Bhd and Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd.

Top gainers included jewellers Poh Kong Holdings Bhd and Tomei Consolidated Bhd amid higher gold prices at above US$1,600 per ounce.

Globally, Reuters reported that Asian shares tumbled on Wednesday, while oil, safe-haven Treasury prices and gold shot higher after Iran fired rockets at US-led forces in Iraq, stoking fears of a wider conflict in the Middle East.

It was reported that Iran's missile attacks on the Ain Al-Asad air base and another in Erbil, Iraq, early in the day came hours after the funeral of the Iranian commander whose killing in a US drone strike has intensified tensions in the region.

It was reported that overnight on Tuesday, shares on Wall Street had pulled back amid worries over US-Iran tensions. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.42%, the S&P 500 lost 0.28% and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.03%, according to Reuters.