KLCI sheds weight amid Asian equities plunge

  • Business
  • Monday, 08 Jul 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI fell nearly five points in the morning session amid a bloodbath in Asian equities, triggered by strong US economic data.

At 12.30pm, the local index was down 4.99 points to 1,677.54 amid turnover of 1.37 billion shares valued at RM805.31mil.

Market breadth was overwhelmingly negative with 530 decliners to 189 gainers and 345 counters unchanged.

Among the most actively traded counters, Ekovest was down 5.5 sen to 81.5 sen, Sumatec dropped one sen to 2.5 sen and IWCity fell seven sen to RM1.01. 

Twenty-four of the 30 KLCI-linked counters were in the red with only two counters showing a positive performance.

The bright spots were Tenaga Nasional rebounding 14 sen to RM13.50 after a rout last Friday, and Dialog inching one sen higher to RM3.36.

Over the weekend, reports that US jobs growth exceeded expectations put a crimp on hopes that the US Federal Reserve will reduce policy rates, leading to a Monday rout in equities.

The Shanghai Composite Index plunged 2.5% in its early session while the CSI300 Index was similarly down 2.3%.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 1.6%, Japan's Nikkei Index dropped 1% and South Korea's Kospi Index slumped 1.7%.

Southeast Asian markets were also down but fared considerably better. 

Singapore's Straits Times led the decline with a 1.3% slide followed by Thailand's SET Index and the Jakarta Composite Index, which lost 0.3% each. 

The Philippines Stock Exchange Index dropped 0.2%.

While equities plunged, oil prices were supported by the US jobs growth which offered evidence of economic strength.

US crude rose seven cents to US$57.38 a barrel and Brent crude gained five cents to US$64.28.

The ringgit slipped 0.2% against the US dollar oto 4.1442 while it was little changed against the pound sterling at 5.1928 and Singapore dollar at 3.0453.
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