KLCI falls as US tariffs on China goods near noon deadline

KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips fell in early Friday trade as investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of the noon deadline on the US government’s imposition of tariffs on Chinese goods leaving China at midday.

At 9.16am, the KLCI was down 5.71 point or 0.35% to 1,612.82. Turnover was 145.28 million shares valued at RM75.60mil. There were 180 gainers, 129 losers and 190 counters unchanged.

Asian shares inched up from two-month lows just hours ahead of the Trump administration's plan to raise tariffs on Chinese imports as investors looked to whether negotiators from the two countries can clinch a deal to avert the hike, Reuters reported.

Top US and Chinese trade negotiators concluded the first of two days of talks on Thursday to rescue a trade deal that is close to collapsing as Washington prepares to go ahead with plans to hike tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of goods imported from China.

Before they get back around the table on Friday, the US will have increased duties on US$200bil of Chinese goods, to 25% from 10%. The duties apply to cargoes leaving China after 0401 GMT or 12.01pm Friday.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan ticked up 0.2% while Japan's Nikkei rose 0.4%. E-mini futures for US S&P500 rose 0.4% in early Asian trade.

At Bursa, Nestle fell 30 sen to RM144.70, Dutch Lady gained 22 sen to RM64 with 100 shares done while BAT gained eight sen to RM33.58.

As for plantations, KL Kepong 14 sen to RM24.50,  PPB 10 sen to RM18.52 and Digi eight sen lower at RM4.71.

Petronas Dagangan lost 16 sen to RM24.08, Petronas Gas and Petronas Chemical eight sen to RM8.82.


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