KUALA LUMPUR: Global equity markets were hit on Thursday by US President Donald Trump's proposal to increase tariff hikes on US$200bil on Chinese imports to 25%.
Bursa Malaysia, which had seen foreign investment return over the last two sessions, saw renewed selling pressure in Thursday morning trade as bloodshed took over Asian markets.
At 12.30pm, the Shanghai Composite Index was down 2.5% while the blue chip CSI 300 fell 2.6%. Japan's Nikkei lost 1.1%.
Going into midday break, the FBM KLCI slid 7.94 points to 1,780.37. Trading volume was 1.21 billion shares with a value of RM754.22mil. There were 541 decliners versus 196 gainers and 384 counters unchanged.
MISC dropped 19 sen to RM6.49 while IHH Healthcare dropped nine sen to RM5.93. Sime Darby Plantation was also in the red, slipping 11 sen to RM5.21.
Bank stocks took a step back with Maybank dipping one sen to RM9.84, Public Bank falling two sen to RM24.18 and CIMB edging one sen lower to RM5.84.
RHB trimmed eight sen off its share price to RM5.45 while Hong Leong Bank was unchanged at RM19.14.
Only two stocks were in positive territory at midday - Hong Leong Financial Group rose 12 sen to RM18.20 and MAHB gained 11 sen to RM9.59.
Among top gainers of the morning session, KESM rose 38 sen to RM17.38, Dutch Lady
climved 32 sen to RM67.20 and Aeon Credit
rose 20 sen to RM15.14.
On the back foot, Carlsberg dropped 16 sen to RM19.14, United Plantation fell 12 sen to RM27 and Heineken Malaysia
slid 12 sen to RM22.48.
The renewed trade war tensions sent oil prices rising on Thursday. WTI crude rose 12 cents to US$67.78 a barrel while Brent crude gained 15 cents to US$72.54 a barrel.
In currencies, the ringgit weakaned 0.17% against the greenback at 4.0732. It also slipped 0.07% against the pound sterling at 5.3372 and strengthened 0.06% against the Singapore dollar at 2.9838.