KLCI starts February in the red, falls 0.83% as virus fears rattle global markets

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 3): The FBM KLCI started February on a negative note, tracking the sea of red at most regional markets as fears of the rapidly spreading coronavirus sent markets tumbling.

At 9.05am, the FBM KLCI lost 12.60 points to 1,518.46.

The top losers included KESM Industries Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Oriental Holdings Bhd, Genting Plantations Bhd, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, UWC Bhd, Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Keluarga Bhd and PPB Group Bhd.

Reuters said Asian markets are set for another bumpy ride on Monday on fears about the hit to world growth from the rapidly spreading coronavirus, with all eyes on China where trading resumes following the Lunar New Year break.

A total of 350 people have died in China from the new virus with the first death out of the mainland reported on Sunday in the Philippines, it said.

JF Apex Securities Research said the Dow dropped 603.41 points, or 2.1%, to 28,256.03 on Friday as investors grew increasingly worried about the potential economic impact of China’s fast-spreading coronavirus.

It said that similarly, the pan-European Stoxx 600 ended the session 1% lower with basic resources falling 1.7% to lead losses as all sectors and major bourses were in the red after the first two cases of the coronavirus were confirmed in the UK.

“On the domestic front, the FBM KLCI tumbled 14.53 points or 0.94% to end at 1,531.06 points.

“Stocks in Asia were set to decline at the open on Monday as investors await the reopening of China’s markets. We expect the local bourse to follow suit and to remain under pressure, with its immediate support at 1,520 points,” it said.