KLCI falls as US Fed continues rate hikes, oil retraces gains


  • Markets
  • Thursday, 20 Dec 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia returned to a slide on Thursday as the US Federal Reserve proceeded with its final 0.25% rate hike for the year while maintaining a guidance for two rate hikes next year.

Asian markets slid on the central bank's hawkish stance while US futures were in the red as at 12pm local time.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI lost 7.78 points to 1,634.41 after falling to a low of 1,630.95 earlier in the session. Turnover was 1.21 billion shares valued at RM768.91mil. There were 245 advancers versus 436 gainers and 245 counters unchanged.

Stocks on the benchmark index were mostly negative. Leading decliners included IHH dropping 16 sen to RM5.20, Maxis falling 22 sen to RM5.25and Digi trimming 10 sen to RM4.31.

Top gainers on the KLCI included Dialog jumping 22 sen to RM2.97, MAHB climbing 33 sen to RM8.50, MISC rising one sen to RM6.35 and KL Kepong adding two sen to RM24.02.

Among the top active counters in the morning session, Genting Malaysia rose five sen to RM3.11 on continued momentum following reports that its Genting Highlands theme park will launch by early next year.

VS Industry remains in the spotlight after a sharp decline earlier in the week following a weak earnings announcement and gloomy outlook. The counter slid one sen to 70 sen.

Meanwhile, gainers on the broader exchange include LPI rising 14 sen to RM15.94, F&N adding 12 sen to RM30.92 and Supermax gaining nine sen to RM3.45.

Laggards were Dutch Lady dropping RM1.54 to RM59.92, United Plantation falling 24 sen to RM25.70 and Petron Malaysia sliding 18 sen to RM6.12.

Oil prices retraced gains from the previous session as concerns over oversupply and the global economic outlook continued to weigh. WTI crude lost US$1.12 to US$47.05 a barrel while Brent crude dropped US$1.08 to US$56.16 a barrel.

In currencies, the ringgit slid 0.15% against the US dollar to 4.1855. It strengthened slightly against the pound sterling at 5.2877 and 0.1% against the Singapore dollar at 3.0494.
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