Trump's renewed tough trade and tariff rhetoric nudge benchmark down

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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 4): US President Donald Trump's renewed tough trade and tariff rhetoric nudged the FBM KLCI down 0.09% or 1.34 points to the 1,560.93 level.

Malacca Securities Head of Research Victor Wan told the theedgemarkets.com that Trump's trade tariff talk had affected both global and regional markets.

"There is a spillover from regional markets," he said, adding that recent corporate earnings had not been particularly encouraging either, leading to an absence of catalysts in the local stock market.

A total of 2.14 billion shares worth RM1.7 billion were traded across the bourse today. Top actives included Impiana Hotels Bhd, Mudajaya Group Bhd and Bumi Armada Bhd.

Top gainers included IGB Bhd, Aeon Credit Service (M) Bhd and Tenaga Nasional Bhd. Among the top losers were Nestle (M) Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd and Chin Teck Plantations Bhd.

According to Reuters, global markets have been spooked by Trump's comments that a prospective US-China trade deal would only possibly materialise after the 2020 US Presidential Election. In addition, US tariffs on Brazilian and Argentine aluminium and steel imports also cast a dark cloud on global equity markets, as did trade tensions between the US and France over potential US tariffs on French goods.

In regional markets, the Shanghai Composite fell by 6.58 points or 0.23% to 2,878.12 points while Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined by 328.74 points or 1.25% to 26,062.56 points.

South Korea's Kospi fell 0.73% or 15.18 points to 2,068.89 points, while Japan's Nikkei shrank 1.05% or 244.58 points to 23,135.23 points.