KLCI finishes at intraday low on Trump's new tariff threat

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KUALA LUMPUR (July 18): The FBM KLCI finished 8.6 points or 0.52% lower today while small market capitalisation (small cap) stocks fell by a larger quantum as world markets reacted to US President Donald Trump’s renewed threat of imposing more tariffs on Chinese goods.

At 5pm, the KLCI finished at its intraday low at 1,648.93 while Bursa Malaysia's small cap index fell 144.66 or 1.06% to 13,541.35.

Across Bursa, there were more than 500 decliners versus some 200 gainers after broad-based selling across the exchange. Top decliners included KLCI stocks Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd and Public Bank Bhd.
Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd research head Pong Teng Siew told theedgemarkets.com that the Malaysian share market performance today was due to the overnight 115.78-point or 0.42% drop in the US' Dow Jones Industrial Average on worries that the trade tension is here to stay.

“Today was not a good day and prospects look very bearish. This has to do with Trump’s off-the-cuff comments, and as the post G20 [summit] euphoria has started to fade again. The market has been building up hopes that there will be a trade deal, until Trump’s statement two days ago took away that optimism,” Pong said.

Across Asian stock markets today, the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite and Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed down 1.04% and 0.46% respectively. Japan's Nikkei 225 slid 1.97% while South Korea's Kospi finished 0.31% lower.

Global shares slipped on Thursday on growing signs that a trade dispute between the US and China was taking a toll on corporate earnings, with nerves spreading from Wall Street through Asia to European markets, Reuters reported today. It was reported that the MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 47 countries, fell 0.2% to their lowest in nine days, while the Euro STOXX 600 slipped 0.5% to its lowest in almost three weeks.

Earlier, Bloomberg reported that Trump reiterated that he could impose additional tariffs on Chinese imports if he wants, after promising to hold off on more duties in a trade-war truce he reached with China’s Xi Jinping last month.