KLCI falls 1% as Asian markets get slugged

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 26): The FBM KLCI fell 1% at mid-morning as regional markets sank on escalating US-China trade war jitters.

At 10.05am, the FBM KLCI fell 16.02 points to 1,593.31.

Losers thumped gainers by 535 to 95, while 206 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 653.45 million shares valued at RM396.46 million.

The top losers included Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, United Plantations Bhd, DRB-Hicom Bhd, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd and SAM Engineering & Equipment (M) Bhd.

The actives included Ekovest Bhd, DRB-Hicom, Ta Win Holdings Bhd, Iris Corp Bhd, Sumatec Resources Bhd, KNM Group Bhd and Iskandar Waterfront City Bhd.

The gainers included Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd, Nestle (M) Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd and Malaysia-listed Hang Seng Index-linked put warrants.

Asian shares sank on Monday as the latest salvo in the Sino-US trade war shook confidence in the world economy and sent investors steaming to the safe harbours of sovereign bonds and gold, while slugging emerging market currencies, according to Reuters.

Yields on benchmark 10-year Treasury debt dropped to their lowest since mid-2016, while gold hit its highest since April 2013 as risk was shunned, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research said with drastic actions from US President Donald Trump imposing further tariffs on Chinese products which will be implemented in September and December, respectively, the tensions on the protracted trade war had intensified, and the research house believed the downside risk may persist until a trade deal is reached, which is unlikely to be seen over the near term.

"Hence, the market tone is likely to stay negative this week and the Dow's upside will be limited.

"Despite the positive tilt in the KLCI's technical outlook, market sentiment could be dampened today as tensions between the US and China intensified over the weekend following a series of reciprocal actions by both parties. KLCI could trade lower with investors fleeing for safe haven assets such as gold and US dollar.

"In addition, traders will trade cautiously throughout the final week of the August reporting season," it said.