KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI broke below the psychologically 1,500-point mark on Wednesday as the country’s political uncertainty drags on, amid announcement by Interim Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to put aside all politics and concentrate on resolving country’s economic issues.
In a televised address to the nation, Dr Mahathir said he wants a Cabinet comprising capable individuals that do not have to cleave to party affiliations.
At closing, the benchmark index pared some of its loss but closed 5.69 points lower at 1,495.19. The index opened 11.55 points lower at 1,489.33 this morning. There were 350 gainers, 538 losers while 393 counters closed unchanged. Turnover stood at 3.866 billion shares worth RM3.072bil.
In today’s session, 14 of the KLCI-component stocks were traded lower, 15 counters rose while the remaining closed unchanged. Dealers said the country’s political situation kept investors on tenterhooks. However, they are positive on news that Dr Mahathir will be announcing the economic stimulus package 2020 tomorrow in Putrajaya.
Earlier, Dr Mahathir attended a meeting with the Finance Ministry’s top officials in regards to the tabling of the economic stimulus package.
The stimulus package aims to stimulate Malaysia’s economy and mitigate any adverse repercussions arising from the COVID-19 outbreak and other external uncertainties.
On Bursa Malaysia, Ayer jumped 52 sen to RM6, Batu Kawan rose 48 sen to RM16.30 and Petronas Gas added 40 sen to RM16.80.
Petronas Chemicals shed 55 sen to RM5.85. Its net profit in the fourth quarter ended Dec 31 (Q4FY19) slumped 66% to RM340mil as revenue fell 16% to RM4.23bil.
For the full year, the company made a net profit of RM2.81bil, or 35 sen a share compared with RM4.79bil, or 60 sen a share previously.
It has declared a second interim dividend of 7 sen a share, to bring total payout for the year to 18 sen a share.
Elsewhere in the region, Hong Kong stocks closed lower as fears grew over the rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak outside china, though losses narrowed after the Asian financial hub rolled out stimulus to prop up its economy.
Reuters reported that the benchmark Hang Seng index fell as much as 1.54% in early trade following Wall Street’s sharp losses on growing fears of a global pandemic. The index later recovered some ground as investors cheered Hong Kong’s latest stimulus, finishing the day down 0.73%.
The Shanghai Composite index fell 25.12 points, or 0.83% to 2,987.93 while the blue-chip CSI300 index dropped more than 1.2% to 4,073.02.
South Korea’s KOSPI ended down 26.84 points, or 1.28%, at 2,076.77 while Japan’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.79% to 22,426.19, its lowest close since Oct. 15, 2019
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