KUALA LUMPUR: Key Asian markets and European bourses were awash in the red on Friday as investors fled riskier assets including equities in a knee-jerk reaction to the US conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East.
At the close, the KLCI was down 27.45 points or 1.47% to 1,839.87 and it is down 1.45% since January.
Turnover was 3.42 billion shares valued at RM2.56bil. Decliners hammered advancers 866, 144 while 224 counters were unchanged.
Analysts said the selldown was an over-reaction, especially towards US President Barack Obama's authorisation of air strikes in Iraq.
At Bursa Malaysia, Petronas Gas fell the most, skidding RM1.12 to RM21.08 in active trade while Petronas Dagangan lost 12 sen to RM19.88.
Among the banks, Public Bank fell the most, losing 56 sen to RM18.96 after its 23 sen a share dividend went ex and in line with the weak markets. HLG lost 38 sen to RM16.88, HL Bank 12 sen to RM13.88, CIMB nine sen to RM6.81 and Maybank seven sen to RM9.93.
Crude palm oil for third-month delivery fell RM15 to RM2,239. TAHPS lost 26 sen to RM8.94, PBB Group 22 sen to RM14.52, PPB Group 22 sen to RM14.52, KL Kepong 16 sen to RM23.70 and IOI Corp five sen to RM4.95.
Maxis fell the most among telcos, down 20 sen to RM6.39, DiGi 11 sen to RM5.66, TM four sen to RM6.21. Heavyweight Tenaga lost 12 sen to RM11.98 and UMW 22 sen to RM11.64.
However, consumer stocks seemed to fare better with BAT up 88 sen to RM70.68, F&N 12 sen to RM17.80.
Scientex added 20 sen to RM60 as investors were positive about its venture with Japan's Futamura Chemical Co. Ltd to build a biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) film manufacturing plant.
Tasco extended to a fresh record high of RM2.95, gaining 20 sen after its strong earnings.
The ringgit weakened against the US dollar to 3.2088 from the previous close of 3.2073.
Among the key regional markets,
Japan's Nikkei 225 tumbled 2.98% to 14,778.37.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index lost 0.23% to 24,331.41;
Shanghai's Composite Index rose 0.31% to 2,194.42;
Taiwan's Taiex fell 0.5% to 9,085.96;
South Korea's Kospi fell 1.14% to 2,031.10;
Singapore's Straits Times Index fell 0.76% to 3,288.89.
US light crude oil rose 70 cents to US$98.04 and Brent 94 cents higher at US$106.38.
Spot gold rose US$4.54 to US$1,317.17.
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