FBM KLCI slips further as equities rout continues

KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI tumbled to its lowest in over two weeks while the broader market was a sea of red as the rout in global equities deepened following a shift in risk sentiment.

As the market entered the lunch break, the blue-chip index was down 5.71 points to 1,536.82, en route to a fourth consecutive day of losses, and slipping below the 50-day simple moving average for the first time in four months.

Across Bursa Malaysia, the decline was overwhelming with 1,153 stocks falling into negative territory, as compared to just 124 positive and 257 unchanged.

Share turnover rose amid the accelerated selling with 3.49 billion shares changing hands for RM2.02bil.

Regional markets fared no better as Japan's Nikkei led the rout with a 2.2% fall to 38,366.

In China, markets ignored the latest 1Q GDP report that showed economic growth beat economists' expectations at 5.3%. The Shanghai composite index dropped 1.4% to 3,013 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng slid 1.9% to 16,279.

Singapore's Straits Times index shed 1.2% to 3,145.

Global equities have been pummelled as expectations of a US rate cut in July were dashed by a series of hot inflation reports, which sent US Treasury yields back on a climb.

Meanwhile, escalating geopolitical conflict in the Middle East sapped risk appetite, with the prospect of supply disruptions sending crude oil prices, as well as safe-haven commodities such as gold, higher.

Malaysian heavyweights that saw selling pressure included Sime Darby sliding six sen to RM2.71, Tenaga Nasional falling 14 sen to RM11.46, YTL Power dropping 10 sen to RM3.81, YTL slipping 12 sen to RM2.48 and AmBank losing six sen to RM4.12.

Press Metal, spurred on by rising metal prices, gained six sen to RM5.28, while CelcomDigi rose seven sen to RM4.15

Of actives, TWL shed 0.5 sen to three sen, Sapura Energy dropped 0.5 sen to 4.5 sen and Velesto slipped 0.5 sen to 27 sen.

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