KLCI extends losses on Brexit, US interest rate concerns

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KUALA LUMPUR (June 14): The FBM KLCI slipped 3.66 points or 0.2% on concerns the UK may leave the European Union (EU) amid anticipation of the US interest rate decision.

At 5pm, the KLCI settled at 1,626.11 points after dropping to an intraday low of 1,619.48 points. Yesterday, the KLCI fell 11.45 points.

Today, the KLCI extended losses as investors evaluated the economic impact of the UK's possible EU exit, which is popularly known as Brexit. The UK's Brexit referendum will be undertaken this June 23.

In the US, the Federal Reserve meets today and tomorrow to decide on the country's interest rate direction. US rate hikes do not bode well for emerging Asian markets as investors shift their money back into US dollar-based assets.

In Malaysia, an analyst with Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd told theedgemarkets.com that the local stock market continued to look dour ahead of the US Federal Reserve meeting and Brexit vote next week.

"The above events, coupled with central bank meetings in England and Japan, will be closely watched for their respective monetary measures amid the still slow economic environment and the market's wariness is expected to prevail in the interim," the analyst said.

Bursa Malaysia saw 1.47 billion shares worth RM1.62 billion traded. Decliners beat gainers at 486 against 278.

Top gainer was Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd while leading decliner was Bintulu Port Holdings Bhd. China Automobile Parts Holdings Ltd was the most actively-traded stock.

Malaysian shares fell with Asian equities. Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1% while South Korea's Kospi closed 0.36% lower. Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 0.61%.

Reuters reported that Asian stocks slipped on Tuesday ahead of the US Federal Reserve's two-day meeting that begins later in the day, amid growing worries this month's referendum in Britain could see it exit the EU.