KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips extended their decline for the second day as key Asian markets were cautious about the rising US-China trade war tensions while HPMT, which was listed on the Main Market, was the most active.
At 9.10am, the FBM KLCI was down 7.31 points or 0.44% to 1,643.89. Turnover was 113.49 million shares valued at RM64.57mil. There were 97 gainers, 132 losers and 191 counters unchanged.
CIMB Retail Research said although the near-term sentiment seems to be improving given the speculation on a US Fed rate cut as well as a possible conciliatory agreement between US and China during the G20 summit at the end of June, “we maintain our view that cautious sentiments may still prevail given the uncertainties over the external and internal headwinds”.
The index may see a period of range-bound trading (possibly between 1,640 and 1,670) in the near term, it said.
Asian share markets got off to a cautious start as the White House took a tough line on a trade deal with China, just as investors were bracing for the latest batch of economic data from the Asian giant, Reuters reported.
Figures on consumer and producer prices are expected to confirm inflation remains subdued and no bar to further stimulus. Shanghai markets had rallied on Tuesday on news Beijing would allow local governments to use cash from special bonds to fund investment projects.
Early Wednesday, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up a slim 0.1%, having climbed 1% the day before.
Japan's Nikkei dithered either side of flat, while Australian shares added 0.3%. E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 were little changed after a flat finish on Wall Street.
The dollar hung near an 11-week low against its peers on Wednesday, weighed by expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve could cut interest rates some time in the next few months.
The dollar index versus a basket of six major currencies was flat at 96.698, trading just above the 96.459 level it hit on Monday, its lowest since March 25.
At Bursa, HPMT slipped below its offer price due to weaker market sentiment. Though it opened at 58 sen, or two sen above its offer price, it later shed half sen to 55.5 sen. It was the most active with 20.75 million shares done.
Tenaga Nasional extended its losses, down 20 sen to RM12.28, Petronas Dagangan lost 10 sen to RM 25.48 and Petronas Chemical eight sen lower at RM8.29.
HL Bank dropped 10 sen yo RM18.88, Maxis eight sen to RM5.51, Axiata five sen to RM4.65 and Digi four sen to RM4.86.
PPB Group was the top gainer, up 20 sen to RM18.80 with 100 shares done.
CHHB added eight sen to RM1.58, UniWall five sen to 55 sen and Tasco four sen to RM1.34.
Pentamaster gained four sen to RM4.15 and JHM three sen to RM1.18.