Malaysian stocks slide as Huawei exec's arrest sparks fresh US-China tension concerns

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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 6): Malaysian stocks closed lower today, in tandem with the slide in Asian stock markets, amid concerns the arrest of Huawei's chief financial officer in relation to alleged violations of US sanctions, could drive a wedge between China and the US.

The FBM KLCI was down 4.93 points or 0.29% at 1,683.34 points.

The local bourse recorded a strong negative market breadth, seeing decliners more than double the number of gainers, with 525 counters declining as compared to 242 counters up at market close today.

“There is still strong selling volume and foreign selling is still seen," TA Securities Sdn Bhd senior technical analyst Stephen Soo told theedgemarkets.com.

A total of 1.96 billion shares were crossed on Bursa Malaysia for RM1.86 billion.

The one bright spot on the market was the oil and gas counters,” said Soo, noting this may be due to positive expectations from the upcoming Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' meeting today.

Bumi Armada Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd and Hubline Bhd were the most actively-traded stocks of the day, with Bumi Armada and Sapura rising 3.23% and 5.97% respectively. Hubline closed unchanged.

Across Asia, MSCI’s Asia Pacific index ex-Japan shed 2%, while the Nikkei declined 1.9%, according to Reuters. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 2.9%, while shares in Shanghai closed down 1.7%.

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou faces extradition to the US, on allegations she violated US sanctions, Reuters reported.