KUALA LUMPUR (June 16): The FBM KLCI declined 13.06 points or 0.8%, tracking Japan shares' substantial drop as investors remained wary on the UK's possible European Union (EU) exit.
At 5pm, the KLCI closed at 1,614.9 points after Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 3.05%.
Japan shares fell on a stronger yen after policy makers decided not to add additional monetary stimulus.
Elsewhere, Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 2.1%. Meanwhile, investors were also wary of the economic impact from the UK's possible EU exit, which is popularly known as Brexit. The UK is undertaking the Brexit referendum this June 23.
Besides Japan and Brexit, Asian markets today had also taken the cue from the US Federal Reserve's decision to maintain the nation's interest rate.
Reuters reported that Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen left US interest rates, which is also known as the fed funds rate, unchanged on Wednesday (June 15), citing slow jobs gains, tepid growth and low inflation — and an impending vote in Britain on whether to quit the EU.
It was reported that Asian stocks turned lower on Thursday and the yen surged after the Bank of Japan refrained from taking further stimulus steps, hours after the Federal Reserve's own review had struck a cautious note on its policy outlook.
In Malaysia, Areca Capital Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Danny Wong Teck Meng told theedgemarkets.com that investors were still cautious because the "Federal Reserve is just deferring (the US's) interest rate hike".
"Uncertainties from Brexit [are] still haunting the KLCI," Wong said.
At Bursa Malaysia, the exchange saw 1.57 billion shares worth RM1.55 billion traded. There were 195 gainers versus 591 decliners.
The biggest decliner was British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, while top gainers included Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd and Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd.
Trive Property Group Bhd was the most-actively traded counter.