KLCI falls as sentiment hit by Singapore’s weak GDP growth

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 14): The FBM KLCI fell 6.05 points or 0.36% to 1,658.97 today as sentiment was affected by Singapore’s weak gross domestic product (GDP) growth, an indication of weakness in the region.

An analyst noted that Singapore’s GDP growth of 0.6% year-on-year for the third quarter is way below the forecast 1.7% growth and the weakest since 2009, adding that it could have triggered a fear over the region’s growth.

“Besides that, the weakness in ringgit has continued despite a more stable oil price recently could have been the reason for the weaker market this week,” Mercury Securities research head Edmund Tham told the edgemarkets.

The market was relatively quiet with only about 1.34 billion shares worth RM1.49 billion traded.

AT Systematization Bhd was the most active counter while Apex Healthcare Bhd was the top gainer and Nestle (M) Bhd was the leading decliner.

Across the region, Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.49% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.88%. Singapore’s STI also edged higher by 0.27% despite the weak GDP growth data.

Reuters reported that Japan’s Nikkei share average rose in choppy trade as index heavyweight Fast Retailing Co’s strong gains offset negative sentiment from Wall Street’s weakness overnight.

Reuters also reported Hong Kong stocks ended a bearish week on an upbeat note after China’s producer prices unexpectedly rose for the first time in nearly five years but for the week, Hang Seng dropped 2.6%, its worst weekly performance in a month.