KLCI hit by low oil price, China economic data

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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 11): The FBM KLCI fell to a five-week low of 1,657.88 points today as investors appear cautious after a decline of crude oil prices and reports of slower industrial production growth in China.

At the end of trading hours, the benchmark index regained some losses to close at 1,665.32 points, still down 20.79 points or 1.23%.

Brent crude was trading at US$47.32 per barrel at the point of writing, down 0.25%, while official data showed that growth in China's industrial production — a measure of factories, workshops and mines' output — increased only 5.6% from a year ago, the lowest reading since March, which suggested sustained weakness in the world's second-largest economy.

When contacted, JF Apex Securities Bhd head of research Lee Chung Cheng told theedgemarkets.com that the Malaysian market was affected by external concerns today, which resulted in foreign selling on blue chip counters.

"Without any positive catalyst, investors could remain trading sideways in the next two market days," he said.

Across Bursa Malaysia, decliners outweighed gainers by 710 against 279, while 254 counters remained unchanged.

Some 2.34 billion shares worth about RM2.31 billion were traded.

The top losing counter was British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, while gainers were led by Petronas Dagangan Bhd.

Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd was the most actively traded counter today, with some 156.44 million shares done.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei inched up 0.1%, along with South Korea's Kospi, which advanced 0.03%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.22%.

Reuters reported that Asian stock markets pulled back slightly on Wednesday after a mixed batch of Chinese data showed that growth in the world's second-biggest economy was still in low gear.

It also noted that oil prices resumed their decline on news that US crude stocks jumped last week.

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