KUALA LUMPUR (July 17): The FBM KLCI fell 0.28% at mid-morning today as market breadth turned negative in line with the weaker regional markets.
Broader sentiment was also dampened further by reports of US President Donald Trump reiterating that he could impose additional tariffs on Chinese imports if he wants, after promising to hold off on more duties in a trade-war truce he reached with China's Xi Jinping last month.
At 10am, the FBM KLCI was down 4.72 points to 1,664.22.
Market breadth was negative as losers led gainers by 354 to 148, while 294 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.30 billion shares valued at RM442.89 million.
The top losers included Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Genting Plantations Bhd, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, Maxis Bhd and Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd.
The actives included Velesto Energy Bhd, KNM Group Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, Alam Maritim Resources Bhd and Bumi Armada Bhd.
The gainers included Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd, Allianz Malaysia Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd, i-Stone Group Bhd, MISC Bhd and Can-One Bhd.
Asian shares drifted lower on Wednesday after a lacklustre performance by Wall Street, while the US dollar got a lift from robust US retail data and a Brexit-driven dive in the pound, according to Reuters.
Oil prices also took a spill on hints US tensions with Iran could be easing and as data showed stockpiles fell by less than expected last week, it said.
Hong Leong IB Research said that on Wall Street, trading sentiment is likely to be affected by the uncertain trade progress following Trump's statements.
"In addition, investors will be monitoring closely on the upcoming FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting to form their investment thesis moving forward based on the interest rates outlook guidance. Hence, we opine that the Dow will stay neutral ahead of the meeting.
"Given the subdued sentiment on Wall Street amid the protracted trade war, we think the FBM KLCI may stay within the retracement phase over the near term, with the upside being capped along 1,700.
"However, we anticipate trading activities within O&G (oil and gas) stocks to remain robust on the back of volatile oil prices," it said.