KLCI loses 0.75% as investors fret over fresh trade war

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KUALA LUMPUR (July 31): The FBM KLCI lost 0.75% at mid-morning as investors fret over the prospect of a fresh trade war between the US and China.

At 10am, the FBM KLCI lost 12.20 points to 1,630.49.

Losers led gainers by 388 to 149, while 308 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 710.53 million shares valued at RM404.17 million.

The top losers included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Nestle (M) Bhd, Public Bank Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd, Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Keluarga Bhd and Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd.

The actives included Green Packet Bhd, KNM Group Bhd, Sumatec Resources Bhd, Vsolar Group Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd and Barakah Offshore Petroleum Bhd.

The gainers included Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd, Allianz Malaysia Bhd, Westports Holdings Bhd, Magni-Tech Industries Bhd and MSM Malaysia Holdings Bhd.

Asian shares weakened in early trade on Wednesday, rattled by fresh trade war concerns following threats from US President Donald Trump to Beijing, while increasing worries about a no-deal Brexit kept the pound under pressure, according to Reuters.

Later in the day, the US Federal Reserve is widely expected to cut interest rates for the first time since the financial crisis more than a decade ago. The expected easing has supported risk asset prices worldwide, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research said in the US, all eyes will be on the resumption of trade talks as the US trade delegation is in China at this juncture.

“In addition, market sentiment is likely to stay cautious ahead of the interest rate decision and the statements from the Federal Reserve. The Dow could trend around 27,000-27,400.

“On the local front, we expect the trading tone to remain tepid throughout the trade discussion between the US and China until there is a clearer picture on the trade deal.

“Meanwhile, traders may stay cautious prior to the FOMC meeting outcome as well. Thus, the FBM KLCI could trade within a range between 1,635-1,650 for the session,” it said.