KLCI falls 1.3% to below 1,400 level as plunging crude oil prices wreak havoc on global markets

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 21): The FBM KLCI fell 1.3% to below the 1,400-point level as plunging crude oil prices wreaked havoc on global equity markets.

At 10am, the FBM KLCI lost 18.28 points to 1,394.84.

Market breadth turned negative with 529 losers and 155 gainers, while 268 counters traded unchanged. Trading volume was 1.76 billion shares valued at RM750.07 million.

The top losers included Nestle (M) Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Batu Kawan Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd and Heineken Malaysia Bhd.

The actives included AirAsia X Bhd, NetX Holdings Bhd, MSM Malaysia Holdings Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd, AirAsia Group Bhd, Velesto Energy Bhd and Hubline Bhd.

The gainers included Latitude Tree Holdings Bhd, Comfort Gloves Bhd, Lingkaran Trans Kota Holdings Bhd, Bursa Malaysia Bhd and Rubberex Corp Bhd.

Bloomberg said Asian stocks followed their US counterparts lower, with investors on edge as oil futures plunged to unprecedented levels and earnings season continued.

Equities opened lower in Japan, Australia and South Korea. S&P 500 futures edged higher after US stocks fell from six-week highs. West Texas crude futures expiring Tuesday turned negative for the first time, primarily because the end of the May contract forces physical receipt at a time when storage capacity is low. June prices fell below US$22 a barrel. Yields on 10-year Treasuries were steady around 0.61% after dropping more than three basis points, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research said the overnight slide on Dow and oil prices coupled with technically overbought market are likely to witness KLCI in wild swings today (range bound within 1,378-1,419 band).

“We reiterate our view that the recent relief rally would be an opportune time to take profit in this market rally as we roll into May and the economic reality, coupled with the concerns about weaker corporate earnings should start to emerge moving forward,” it said.