KLCI stays negative as spectre of more tariffs on China keeps region on tenterhooks

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KUALA LUMPUR (June 27): The FBM KLCI remained in negative zone at mid-morning today, as possible additional tariffs on China kept regional markets on tenterhooks ahead of the G20 Summit in Japan.

At 10.05am, the FBM KLCI was down 2.22 points to 1,672.27.

Gainers led losers by 216 to 199, while 274 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 399.96 million shares valued at RM245.23 million.

The decliners included Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Keluarga Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd, Yinson Holdings Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, PMB Technology Bhd and Ayer Holdings Bhd.

The actives included Iskandar Waterfront City Bhd, SMTrack Bhd, Focus Dynamics Group Bhd, Ekovest Bhd, PCCS Group Bhd, HPMT Holdings Bhd and VSolar Group Bhd.

The gainers included Nestle (M) Bhd, Time Dotcom Bhd, Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Telekom Malaysia Bhd and Subur Tiasa Holdings Bhd.

Asian markets were busy going nowhere on Thursday as confusion shrouded the chances of any progress in the Sino-US trade standoff, while bulls scaled back wagers for a drastic cut in US interest rates, according to Reuters.

US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that a trade deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping was possible this weekend but warned he was prepared to impose US tariffs on virtually all remaining Chinese imports if talks fail, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research said that on Wall Street, market participants will be staying cautious ahead of the G20 summit as any details regarding the trade discussions will be monitored closely to determine the market direction moving forward.

"However, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin [stating] 'there is a path' for the US and China on the trade front as well as the trade deal [being] 90% complete should be able to stabilise market movements for now.

"Taking cues from lacklustre activities on overnight Wall Street, market participants are likely to stay [on the] sidelines ahead [of] the widely anticipated G20 summit and the KLCI may trade within a narrow range between 1,658-1,680.

"Meanwhile, traders may look into O&G stocks for some trading actions as Brent oil prices jumped above US$65 after EIA (Energy Information Administration) reported a significant drop in weekly inventory since September 2016," it said.