KUALA LUMPUR (March 25): The FBM KLCI declined 1.05% today, mainly as investors became increasingly concerned about the US economy's outlook and its trade negotiations with China.
The benchmark index closed 17.51 points lower at 1,649.15 points today after ranging between 1,648.06 points and 1,654.26 points.
Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd senior analyst Kenneth Leong told theedgemarkets.com that the Malaysian market is expected to remain under pressure for the entire week ahead.
“The market is getting volatile now, and our advice to investors is to take profit from some of their small cap exposure and stay [on the] sidelines for the near term, at least for this week,” he said.
“Although we don’t see major concerns from the domestic market, except for political risks, we are expecting a bearish week ahead. The only silver lining is if China and US come to an agreement on their trade deal,” he added.
Reuters reported that Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Monday in line with broader Asia, as investors sought refuge in safer assets on US recession worries, with Philippines taking the worst hit.
The news agency added that stocks around the world were under pressure as investors fled to the safety of bonds after cautious remarks by the US Federal Reserve last week on the cooling economy sent the 10-year treasury yields below the three-month rate for the first time since 2007, embedding interest rate curve inversion.
In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei fell 3.01% today, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 2.03% and the South Korean Kospi retreated 1.92%.
On Bursa, 2.79 billion shares worth some RM1.74 billion exchanged hands, with 684 losers against 191 gainers, while 335 counters remained unchanged.
Notable gainers included Hang Seng Index Structured Put Warrants (HSI-H6G), while top losers included Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd and Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Bhd. Sapura Energy Bhd was the most actively traded counter today with 357.87 million shares done.