KLCI edges lower in line with regional retreat


KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI edged lower today against the backdrop of retreating regional markets as weak US data fans recession fears.

At 5pm, the 30-stock index eased 3.26 points, or 0.22% to 1,451.48.

In the broader market, laggards outnumber gainers 461-to-368; about 2.38 billion shares changed hands in deals worth RM1.77bil.

SPI Asset Management managing partner Stephen Innes said global equities are lower following a weak US close with the tech long-duration contingency underperforming across Asia.

Despite some relief on the back of an easing of China travel restrictions, weakening global macro data continues to weigh, with rallies still being sold.

“I do not envision equities recovering until the US rates market is pricing more meaningful cuts from the Fed. Unfortunately, it might take a negative print for US non-farm payrolls later this year to get there.

“That suggests equities demand could remain mute for at least the next four to six months as interest rate hikes work through the US economy,” Innes said.

Around the region, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific ex-Japan fell 1.55%.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed 0.91% lower at 26,804.60 while South Korea’s Kospi lost 1.82% to 2,377.99.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was down 2.02%, at 21,965.43.

China’s CSI300 index edged down 1.54% to 4,421.36, while the Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.4% to 3,361.52 points.

On Bursa Malaysia, Hartalega lead the gainers’ list, jumping 30 sen to RM2.95, its highest in two weeks. F&N added 22 sen to RM21.20 and Harrisons gained 15 sen to RM6.03.

Digi.com Bhd rose 17 sen to RM3.42, its highest in since the beginning of the month. Axiata Group Bhd added five sen to RM2.86.

In a joint statement, the telcos said they received a notice of no objection from MCMC to proceed with the proposed merger of Celcom’s and Digi’s telco operations (MergeCo).

Among the losers, Nestle tumbled RM2.10 to RM133.30, Malaysian Pacific Industries fell 80 sen to RM28 and PPB lost 40 sen to RM15.70.

Meanwhile, the ringgit was quoted at 4.3997, down 0.07% against the US dollar.

US light crude oil added 21 cents to US$111.97 and Brent lost 18 cents to US$117.80 per barrel.

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