KLCI slumps 1.38%, stays below 1,600 level as region mired in red

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 13): The FBM KLCI slumped 1.38% and remained below the crucial 1,600-point level at the midday break on Tuesday, mirroring regional markets mired in the red.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI lost 22.27 points to 1,592.78.

Market breadth was negative as losers hammered gainers by 507 to 85, while 444 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.12 billion shares valued at RM714.66 million.

The top losers included Public Bank Bhd, Nestle (M) Bhd, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Batu Kawan Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Guan Chong Bhd and Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd.

The actives included Ta Win Holdings Bhd, Genting Malaysia Bhd, Berjaya Corp Bhd, KNM Group Bhd and Metronic Global Bhd.

The gainers included Westports Holdings Bhd, Merge Energy Bhd, Daibochi Bhd, United Plantations Bhd, DKSH Holdings (M) Bhd, JCBNext Bhd, Kuchai Development Bhd and Favelle Favco Bhd.

Asian shares slumped on Tuesday as fears about a drawn out Sino-US trade war, protests in Hong Kong and a crash in Argentina's peso currency drove investors to safe harbours like bonds, gold, and the Japanese yen, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan skidded 1%. Chinese stocks fell 0.8%, while Hong Kong's main market index tumbled more than 1% to a seven-month low, it said.

Kenanga IB Research said that last week, Asian stock markets ended the week mostly lower due to escalating trade tension and China's yuan breaking the psychologically important of 7-yuan-per-US-dollar.

"The FBM KLCI last Friday fell 0.97 points (-0.06%) [to close] at 1,615.05, registering week-on-week loss of -0.72%.

"Chart-wise, the index is currently trading below its key SMAs (simple moving averages) after the formation of 'Death cross' coupled with uninspiring key momentum indicators, hence we expect the bearish outlook to remain intact.

"Key support levels can be found at 1,600 (S1) and 1,570 (S2) should the index trend lower. Conversely, overhead resistance levels can be seen at 1,650 (R1) and 1,690 (R2)," it said.

Meanwhile, foreign selling of Malaysian equity on Bursa Malaysia swelled to RM1.04 billion last week, from RM601.2 million the prior week, according to MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Bhd Research.

In his weekly fund flow report today, MIDF Research's Adam M Rahim said this was the largest weekly foreign net outflow in 12 weeks.