KLCI ends at intraday low as weaker corporate earnings hurt sentiment

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 27): The FBM KLCI slipped 9.69 points or 0.61% mainly on foreign selling amid weaker Malaysian corporate financial reports and persistent US-China trade war concerns.

At 5pm, the KLCI finished at its intraday low of 1,590.84 after broad-based selling across Bursa Malaysia. The index for small market capitalisation stocks closed down 28.22 points or 0.22% at 12,989.58.

TA Securities Holdings Bhd senior technical analyst Stephen Soo told theedgemarkets.com the local stock market was not inspired by rebounds in Asian bourses due to weaker Malaysian corporate earnings reports during the ongoing reporting season for the April-to-June quarter.

"The market today is seeing quite a fair bit of selling pressure, mostly from foreign selling as caution prevails. It may be the weaker corporate earnings dragging on sentiments.

"With more corporate earnings due to be released over the next few days, the index (KLCI) is expected to trade sideways with a downward bias," Soo said.

Notable corporate financial reports today included those from Alliance Bank Malaysia Bhd and KLCI component Petronas Gas Bhd. Both stocks closed among Bursa top decliners after reporting lower quarterly net profit from a year earlier.

theedgemarkets.com, quoting exchange filings, reported today Alliance Bank announced a 44% drop in net profit to RM76.69 million in the first quarter ended June 30, 2019 (1QFY20) from RM136.37 million in the year-ago quarter, although quarterly revenue came in at RM406.93 million, up 1.5% from RM401.07 million in 1QFY19.

It was also reported that Petronas Gas' second quarter net profit fell 1.26% to RM502.9 million from RM509.33 million a year earlier as a result of higher tax expense. It was reported that revenue rose to RM1.38 billion in the second quarter ended June 30, 2019 from RM1.36 billion.

At 5pm today, Alliance Bank's share price closed down 33 sen or 10.15% at RM2.92 while Petronas Gas fell 34 sen or 2.17% to RM15.36.

Globally, Asian equity indices rebounded today on hopes for a trade deal between the US and China after US President Donald Trump softened his tone against China and predicted the two countries will be able to reach a trade agreement.

China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite closed up 1.35%, Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.96% while South Korea's Kospi gained 0.43%.

Reuters reported that Trump said on Monday that Chinese officials had contacted their US trade counterparts and offered to resume negotiations, an assertion that China declined to confirm. It was reported that his comments helped temper sharp losses in global markets after both sides announced new tariffs on Friday, in the latest escalation in the protracted trade dispute.