Steel counters down as US signals 'no tariff exemptions'

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 5): Shares in most steel counters on Bursa Malaysia dipped in the morning session today, hurt by the US administration’s threat that none will be exempted from being slapped with its global steel and aluminium tariffs.

At the time of writing, CSC Steel Holdings Bhd fell six sen or 4.1% to RM1.40, while Malaysia Steel Works (KL) Bhd lost five sen or 4.7% to RM1.02. Southern Steel Bhd and Ann Joo Resources Bhd each fell 2.9% to RM2 and RM3.34 respectively.

Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Bhd shed as much as 56 sen or 10.2% to a low of RM4.91, a level not seen since last December.

YKGI Holdings Bhd, however, seems unaffected as it added 1.5 sen or 5.1% to 31 sen in morning trade.

The Trump administration signaled its new aluminium and steel tariff decision may not leave room for any exceptions, even for US allies, as reported by local US media on Sunday. 

“Trump’s tariffs seem to have caused steel counters and also the aluminium counters to be down. But the more worrisome part is that there may be more coming along the way. We do not know how serious it would get, but I think the market should brace for more tariffs that may be forthcoming,” Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd head of research Pong Teng Siew told when contacted.