KLCI tracks weaker regional markets on China data

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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 2): The FBM KLCI fell 1.64 points or 0.1% following weaker China manufacturing data.

At 5pm, the KLCI closed at 1,664.07 points. The KLCI pared losses from its intraday low of 1,658.98.

Across Asia, Japan's Nikkei fell 2.1%. In China, the Shanghai Composite dropped 1.7% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 1.19%.

Reuters reported that Asian stocks slid to their lowest level in nearly three weeks on Monday, as profit-taking set in after soft Chinese factory surveys and US consumer spending data raised concerns over the global economic outlook.

In Malaysia, Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd head of research Pong Teng Siew told theedgemarkets.com that China's Oct purchasing managers index (PMI), which stood at 49.8, had fuelled worries on the country's economic momentum.

A reading below 50 points indicates a contraction.

"Most of the bigger share markets in Asia are down, including the Nikkei, Hang Seng and the Straits Times Index. The only markets bucking the trend are the South Korean and Taiwanese markets.

"Besides that (China), the US markets had also closed lower last Friday, setting the tone for the weaker performance in markets today," Pong said.

For Bursa Malaysia, Pong said the disparity between trading volume and value showed penny stocks were in play today. The FBM Small Cap Index rose 57.54 points or 0.37% to close at 15,741.50.

Bursa Malaysia saw 2.61 billion shares worth RM1.97 billion exchanged. Despite the KLCI's lower close, Bursa Malaysia gainers beat decliners at 455 against 412 while 332 counters were unchanged.

The leading gainer was Lay Hong Bhd while the top decliner was British American Tobacco (M) Bhd. The top-active counter was XOX Bhd.

(Note: The Edge Research's fundamental score reflects a company's profitability and balance sheet strength, calculated based on historical numbers. The valuation score determines if a stock is attractively valued or not, also based on historical numbers. A score of 3 suggests strong fundamentals and attractive valuations.)