KLCI tumbles 1.24% to below 1,600pt level

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 13): The FBM KLCI tumbled 1.24% to below the crucial 1,600-point level at mid-morning today, tracking its regional peers as broader market sentiment remained weak.

At 10am, the FBM KLCI lost 19.86 points to 1,595.19.

Losers thumped gainers by 465 to 95, while 221 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 505.61 million shares valued at RM287.55 million.

The top losers included Public Bank Bhd, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd, Nestle (M) Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd, Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Keluarga Bhd and Tenaga Nasional Bhd.

The actives included Ta Win Holdings Bhd, Genting Malaysia Bhd, Iris Corp Bhd and Bumi Armada Bhd.

The gainers included Allianz Malaysia Bhd, United Plantations Bhd, Lotte Chemical Titan Holding Bhd and Malaysia-listed Hang Seng Index-linked put warrants.

Asian shares fell 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 yen, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.26% while Japan's Nikkei tumbled 1.28%, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research said that in the US, Wall Street sentiment is likely to remain sluggish following recessionary fears warnings by Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, as investors are watching closely the trade war and currency developments following yuan weakening above CNY7.00/USD threshold and the plummeting Argentine peso.

"Meanwhile, the escalating HK tension, which could lead to greater intervention by mainland Chinese authorities, poses a risk to the Asian region due to its major financial status and could have spillover implications to Europe and the US.

"Given the lingering external headwinds such as heightened US-China trade tension, rising geopolitical tensions in India/Pakistan, Japan/South Korea and US/Iran, coupled with expectations of a tepid August reporting season, KLCI is expected to trend sideways within 1,600-1,633 band in the short term.

"Meanwhile, local sentiment would also be dampened by key concerns e.g. policy reforms, leadership transition in Malaysia, and potential outcomes from the review on Malaysia's position in the World Government Bond Index (WGBI) in early September," it said.