KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 17): The FBM KLCI dipped in early trade on Wednesday as global markets remained volatile.
At 9am, the FBM KLCI shed 0.90 points to 1,673.04.
The top losers included Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd, AMMB Holdings Bhd, Hap Seng Plantations Bhd, United Malacca Bhd, Malaysia Smelting Corporation Bhd, Public Bank Bhd, Faber Group Bhd and Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd.
World markets braced for more volatility on Wednesday as tumbling oil prices and a brewing financial crisis in Russia sent investors stampeding for safe havens such as the yen and U.S. Treasuries, according to Reuters.
The jump in the yen is likely to pressure Japan's Nikkei while fears of capital flight will haunt emerging markets across Asia. MSCI's index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan is already at nine-month lows, it said.
M & A Securities research head Rosnani Rasul said Wall Street tanked for 3-straight days and this time it was hurt by the declining Russian’s rouble.
She said this was despite the turnaround in oil price, albeit marginally. S&P 500 and DJIA lost 16.89 (0.85%) and 111.97 (0.65%) points to end at 1,972.74 and 17,068.87 respectively.
“We have mentioned on Russia’s vulnerability before given that oil revenues contribute of 60% of its fiscal revenue and yesterday it finally reared its ugly head,” she said.
Rosnani pointed out that the Russian rouble had been on a downward slide, matching the oil movement, pushing its central bank to hike its interest rate by 650 basis points yesterday (i.e. 6.5%) to a whopping 17% in an attempt to halt the free fall in the currency.
She said the hike gave a temporary lifeline but the currency was still under heavy selling pressure. She said investors, as predicted, scrambled for safe heaven, pushing the Yen to gain to almost 117 per Dollar.
“As mentioned, we have been expecting this and the next in line would be the Indonesian rupiah, Brazilian real and Venezuelan bolivar.
“More so when some of these countries have been facing prolong current account deficit.
“As for today, the risk of volatile oil could still stoke trading risk averseness in our view.
“Nonetheless, as the foreign investors are turning their guns towards Russia, there is a fair chance that the local market may get a breather today,” she said.