KLCI remains in red as region slumps, World Bank lowers M'sia GDP forecast

-A +A

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 18): The FBM KLCI extended it losses at the midday break today as regional markets slumped and the World Bank lowered its projection for Malaysia's economic growth in 2018 to 4.7%.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI fell 0.46% or 7.52 points to 1,634.10. On Bursa Malaysia, all the indices were in red in the morning session today.

Losers led gainers by 642 to 145, while 237 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.27 billion shares valued at RM772.82 million.

The top losers included Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Hai-O Enterprise Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Aeon Credit Service (M) Bhd, IHH Healthcare Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd and Scientex Bhd.

The actives included V.S. Industry Bhd, Priceworth International Bhd, Vivocom International Holdings Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd, Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd, Sumatec Resources Bhd, Hubline Bhd and KNM Group Bhd.

The gainers included Nestle (M) Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, DiGi.Com Bhd, Public Bank Bhd, Bintulu Port Holdings Bhd and Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd.

The World Bank once again lowered its gross domestic product growth expectation for Malaysia this year to 4.7% from a 4.9% prediction set in early Oct 2018.

This is due to two factors, namely lower government spending and a decline in private and public investment, said Shakira Teh Sharifuddin, country economist for Malaysia at the World Bank.

Asian share markets slumped on Tuesday as heightened concerns about a slowing global economy sent Wall Street stocks skidding to their lowest levels in more than a year, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan shed 0.3% in mid-morning trade while Japan's Nikkei tumbled 1.2% by the midday break, it said.

Kenanga IB Research said Asian stock markets ended mixed yesterday with investors being cautious ahead of key policy meetings happening around the world.

It said back home, the local benchmark index tumbled 20.34 points (down 1.22%) to close at 1,641.62 as investors' sentiment seems to be affected by the US market last Friday.

"Having broken below the 1,650 support level, the overall technical outlook continues to be bearish with no sign of a potential reversal and the downward momentum seems strong.

"From here, we expect the index to trend nearer to its next support at 1,615 (S1) and 1,600 (S2).

"Conversely, any positive change in global happenings may see the index test its support-turned-resistance of 1,650 (R1) and 1,700 (R2)," it said.