KLCI falls as US-China tensions weigh down sentiment
KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI remained in negative territory at the midday break on Wednesday as investors weighed the potential escalation in Sino-US tension.
The 30-stock index eased 7.89 points, or 0.53% to 1,487.16. It opened 6.47 points lower at 1,488.58 this morning.
There were 264 gainers, 399 losers and 395 counters traded unchanged on the Bursa Malaysia. Turnover stood at 995.56 million shares valued at RM533.92mil.
Mercury Securities expect Malaysian stocks to remain volatile in the short-term due to rising tensions between the US and China.
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi landed in Taiwan on Tuesday, defying warnings from China.,
SPI Asset Management managing partner Stephen Innes said the immediate focus for markets shifts to, first, the risk of escalation once the US House Speaker leaves the region and, second, whether there should be a medium-term repricing of risk in Taiwan-sensitive assets, including New Taiwan dollar and equities and likely some contagion effect across Asia market.
“China’s military exercises surrounding Taiwan overlap further into its territorial waters relative to moves in March 1996, representing a clear escalation and part of missile tests and military drills announced for August 4-7.
“Beyond military theatre, the issue to watch once Pelosi returns to the US will be whether the Whitehouse talks tough on China, where there is bipartisan support) without driving an economic fracture,” he said.
On Bursa Malaysia, F&N lost 20 sen to RM21.82, Dutch Lady fell 18 sen to RM32.32, Panasonic Manufacturing eased 16 sen to RM26.10 and Aeon Credit declined 16 sen to RM13.90.
Among the gainers, Malaysian Pacific Industries rose 20 sen to RM31.72, Sam Engineering added 18 sen to RM4.51, Kobay gained 12 sen to RM2.89 and Pintaras Jaya climbed 12 sen to RM2.31.