KLCI pares loss but stays down 0.64% as new tariff worry jolts markets

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 2): The FBM KLCI pared some of its loss at the midday break but remained down 0.64%, tracking the fall at global markets as the threat of additional tariffs on China spooked investors.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was down 10.52 points to 1,628.55. The index had earlier slipped to a low of 1,623.66.

Losers outpaced gainers by 452 to 102, while 527 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.17 billion shares valued at RM780.81 million.

The top losers included Nestle (M) Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, KESM Industries Bhd, Maxis Bhd, Batu Kawan Bhd and Bursa Malaysia Bhd.

The actives included KNM Group Bhd, P.A. Resources Bhd, NetX Holdings Bhd, Ekovest Bhd and Vsolar Group Bhd.

The gainers included Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Magni-Tech Industries Bhd, Kuchai Development Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd and Eita Resources Bhd.

Global stocks took another beating on Friday with investors piling into safe-haven assets after US President Donald Trump said he would slap a 10% tariff on the remaining US$300 billion of Chinese imports starting Sept 1, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.6% to its lowest since mid-June while Japan's Nikkei tumbled 2.4%, the newswire said.

Affin Hwang Capital Research said the FBM KLCI Index closed in the green in yesterday's session, up 4.2 points or 0.26%, closing at 1,639.07.

"The index gapped lower at the start of the session. However, buyers managed to close the gap and ultimately pushing prices higher, closing in the green for the day.

"Nonetheless, key technical indicators, namely MACD (moving average convergence divergence) on the daily chart still suggest further downside are still in the cards.

"Anticipate to resume downward movement," it said.