KUALA LUMPUR: Worries about a slowdown in China's economy battered key Asian markets and Malaysian equities, sending all the key indices into the red.
At 5pm, the FBM KLCI was down 10.2 points or % to 1,822.06. Turnover was 1.69bil shares valued at RM1.85bil. There were 278 gainers, 519 losers and 284 stocks unchanged.
Malaysia Airlines was in spotlight as families and authorities await news following the disappearance of Flight MH730 on Saturday. MAS fell one sen to 24 sen with 385 million shares done. It fell to an early low of 20.5 sen.
China's CSI300 share index sank to a five-year closing low, dragged down by financials after tepid economic data reignited fears of a bigger slowdown in the world's second-largest economy, Reuters reported.
The CSI300 of the largest Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings dived 3.3%, hitting its lowest close since Feb 2, 2009. The Shanghai Composite Index ended down 2.9% at 1,999.1 in its worst day since June 24.
The ringgit weakened against the US dollar to 3.2833 from the previous close of 3.2578.
Crude palm oil for third-month futures rose RM18 to RM2,904. However, despite the positive outlook, most plantation stocks fell due to bearish market sentiment.
PPB fell 26 sen to RM16.14, IOI Corp nine sen to RM4.69 while KL Kepong lost 10 sen to RM23.78. However, timber-plantations based Ta Ann rose 13 sen to RM4.37.
Maybank fell 13 sen to RM9.61 and erased 2.08 points from the KLCI. HLFG was down 16 sen to RM15.42 while CIMB and Public Bank lost four sen each to RM7.03 and RM19.04. Insurer LPI was down 16 sen to RM16.84.
Among the consumer stocks, BAT fell 66 sen to RM59.24 and Nestle lost 40 sen to RM66.80.
CMSB fell 57 sen to RM8.43 after the recent share price surge.
Pestech rose 19 sen to RM3.98 after it sealed a US$86.05mil (about RM282.58mil) contract to build a 198km power transmission line from the Sihanoukville area to Phnom Penh city.
Golsta Synergy surged 56 sen to RM3.94. It was earlier queried by Bursa Malaysia Securities over the reasons for the unusual market activity. At RM3.94, this is RM1.84 above the conditional mandatory general offer (MGO) by businessman Tan Sri Clement Hii Chii Kok at RM2.10 a share.
OKA rose 23 sen to RM1.61 after it proposed a one-into-two share split.
MISC was the top performer among the KLCI stocks, rising 19 sen to RM6.73.
Among the key regional markets,
Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.01% to 15,120.14;
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 1.75% to 22,264.93;
Shanghai's Composite Index fell 2.86% to 1,999.06;
Taiwan's Taiex fell 0.56% to 8,665.24;
South Korea's Kospi fell 1.03% to 1,954.42;
Singapore's Straits Times Index fell 0.31% to 3,126.63
US light crude oil fell RM1.29 to US$101.29 and Brent fell 96 cents to US$108.04.
Spot gold fell US$4.98 to US$1,334.99.
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