KUALA LUMPUR: Key Asian markets were routed on Monday after US President Donald Trump issued more tariff threats against China but Bursa Malaysia managed to close off its intra-day lows.
At 5pm, the KLCI was down 4.5 points or 0.27% to 1,632.80. It fell to a low of 1,624. Turnover was 2.79 billion shares valued at RM1.70bil. Decliners beat advancers by more than five to one or 790 losers to 150 gainers and 324 counters unchanged.
Trump threatened in two tweets to more than double tariffs on US$200bil of Chinese goods, and impose a fresh round of duties on top of that, Bloomberg reported, as he sought to ramp up pressure on China for more concessions.
His threats saw the blue-chip CSI300 index and the Shanghai Composite Index tumbling more than 5%, posting their steepest single-day drop since February 2016. Around 1,000 mainland firms plummet the maximum allowed 10% daily limit, according to Reuters. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index slumped more than 3%.
At Bursa, market sentiment took a hit from the fresh threats as the fallout would have an impact on Malaysia as China is among the largest trading partners.
US light crude oil fell US$1.04 to US$60.90 and Brent was 97 cents lower at US$69.88.
Petronas Chemical fell 15 sen to RM8.80 and erased 2.09 points from the KLCI, Dialog fell six sen to RM3.16, Petronas Dagangan was down six sen to RM24, Petronas Gas was unchanged at RM17.56.
Hong Leong Bank fell 30 sen to RM19.70 and wiped out 1.13 points from the KLCI. RHB Bank lost 12 sen to RM5.82, CIMB four sen to RM5.20, Public Bank rose two sen to RM22.56, AmBank three sen to RM4.48 and Maybank added four sen to RM9.30.
Sime Darby and Tenaga Nasional lost eight sen each to RM2.27 amd RM12.22, MgentingM seven sen to RM3.14 and Genting was unchanged at RM6.89.
Maxis bucked the weak market sentiment to climb 11 sen to RM5.43 and added 1.49 points to the KLCI.
Axiata and Digi were suspended for the day ahead of an announcement for the proposed merger of Axiata and Telenor ASA's Asian operations in Asean and South Asia will create a global champion with proforma revenue of more than RM50bil Telenor Group has a 49% stake in Digi.com.
Nestle fell the most, down 90 sen to RM145.60, Dutch Lady 40 sen to RM63.60 and Heineken 28 sen to RM24.22
Pentamaster lost 30 sen to RM3.98 and KESM 20 sen to RM7.61 but Unisem added seven sen to RM2.60.
Ekovest was the most active with 154.91 million shares done, falling 4.5 sen to 91 sen while the warrants lost 5.5 sen to 42 sen.