Bursa battered as Asian markets in freefall

  • Markets
  • Friday, 13 Mar 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia was battered in early trade on Friday the 13th following the overnight plunge on Wall Street while key Asian markets were in freefall as Japan’s Nikkei 225 plunged 10%.

At 9.10am, the KLCI was down 76.27 points of 5.37% to 1,343,16. Turnover was 513.92 million shares valued at RM264.85mil. Decliners hammered advancers 732 to 37 while 83 counters were unchanged.

Bloomberg reported stocks tumbled in Asia early Friday following the worst Wall Street session since 1987, with investors spooked that emergency fiscal and monetary packages won’t be enough to stave off a recession. Treasuries surged and the dollar climbed.

Japanese equities plunged 10% and South Korean stocks sank 7%, triggering a trading halt, with global equities heading for the worst week since 2008 as investors moved to price a severely weaker outlook due to the hit from the coronavirus pandemic. Futures on the S&P 500 dipped after the index lost 9.5% on Thursday.

Foreign funds have been selling Malaysia equities this week. At Bursa on Thursday, foreign funds were net sellers again at -RM375.4mil but local institutions were net buyers at RM331.8mil and retail investors at RM43.6mil.

On Friday, Nestle fell RM3.50 to RM135.70, Carlsberg RM2.80 to RM21.84, Heineken RM2.24 to RM21 and F&N RM1.20 to RM28.50.

KL Kepong tumbled RM2.20 to RM17.80, PPB Group RM1.88 to RM15.70, PetDag RM1.80 to RM18.10, HL Bank Rm1.02 to RM13.60 and Tenaga 86 sen to RM11.56.

Meanwhile, Stephen Innes, Global Chief Markets Strategist at AxiCorp said Global equities went into free-fall overnight after a series of communication blunders triggered pandemic pandemonium on global markets. In mere weeks the market has shifted gears from a transitory health scare to a full-blown global recession.

The White House imposed travel bans and provided the match in the powder barrel. But the market had been rapidly moving into combustion mode all week after Italy severed connections with the rest of the world, and closing all shops except food stores, pharmacies, and banks.

“Global supply chains are no longer just ‘disrupted’ but are now in the process of shutting down completely.

“And even more worrisome is that the worst-case scenario and the sum of all fears are culminating with the view that policymakers remain well behind the curve, ” he said.

Innes said the US government failed to impose any intra-US restrictions on travel, or large gatherings which were viewed as being entirely out of touch with reality. It provided the market with a hefty sell trigger. Everyone knows the number of reported cases in the US will skyrocket soon because proper testing has begun. So logically, without imposing the necessary containment measure, the US administration's prevention strategy is extremely porous.

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KLCI , pandemic , Covid-19


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