KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips managed to cross the key 1,700 level early Monday but Asian shares got the week off to a cautious start as trade war fears continued to cast a pall of gloom.
At 9.16am, the FBM KLCI was up 7.1 points or 0.42% to 1,701.25. Turnover was 203.61 million shares valued at RM112.53mil. There were 175 gainers, 117 losers and 210 counters unchanged.
Reuters reported S&P500 mini futures fell as much as 0.5% in early trade while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.2%. Japan's Nikkei lost 0.4%.
US oil prices maintained hefty gains made after major oil producers had agreed on a modest increase in production.
Meanwhile analysts raised the alarm about another barrage of potential tariffs along with the US administration looking to impose the International Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977.
Stephen Innes, head of trading Asia Pacific at OANDA said the move was to prohibit Chinese firms from investing in the US technology sectors.
This, he said, has again spooked global equity market in early trade while inducing a yet another risk meltdown.
“The trade war hawks are circling, but the question is fade or trade but by all appearance were undoubtedly nearing that bridge too far and extreme caution should be exercised as the market awaits the rebuttal from China,” cautioned Innes.
At Bursa, Petronas Dagangan added 24 sen to RM24.52, Petronas Gas gained 16 sen to RM17.52 and Petronas Chemical seven sen higher at RM8.47. Hengyuan gained 13 sen to RM6.56.
Hong Leong Bank gained 18 sen to RN18.30 while Tenaga Nasional was up eight sen to RM13.88.
SAM Engineering was the top gainer, up 27 sen to RM7.63, NewHoong Fatt added 11 sen to RM3.29 while T7Global was 10 sen higher at 52 sen.
Sapura Energy was the most active, up 1.5 sen to 66 sen.
Magni-Tech fell the most, down 64 sen to RM4.46, SCGM lost 21 sen to RM1.60, Ge-Shen seven sen to 82.5 sen while IOI Corp and UMW shed four sen each to RM4.55 and RM6.26.
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