KLCI flat in volatile trade; Ringgit weakens



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KUALA LUMPUR (May 28): The FBM KLCI vacillated between gains and losses before ending almost flat. Fund managers said Malaysian shares took the cue from weak corporate financials as investors eyed domestic political uncertainties surrounding 1Malaysia Development Bhd.

At 5pm, the KLCI eked out a 0.51 point or 0.03% gain to settle at 1,755.56 as selling pressure persisted.

“The KLCI was not only pressured by blue chip counters like Tenaga (Tenaga Nasional Bhd), but investors also tend to factor in the second quarter weak (corporate) earnings performance,” Areca Capital Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Danny Wong told theedgemarkets.com.

For comparison, the FBM Small Cap index fell 47.45 points or 0.29%. The FBM Small Cap comprises companies within the top 98% portion of Bursa Malaysia's Main Board but excludes stocks under the FBM Top 100 list.

Malaysian shares' volatility came amid substantial losses in China markets. Reuters reported that China's stock markets plunged on Thursday, with indexes dropping over 6% in record high turnover as investors rushed to sell after more brokers tightened margin trading requirements for clients and the central bank drained money market liquidity.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 2.23% while the Shanghai Composite declined 6.5%

Across Bursa Malaysia, there were 420 decliners versus 324 gainers while 333 counters remained unchanged. Total trading volume was 1.61 billion shares worth RM1.91 billion.

The top gainer was Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd while decliners were led by British American Tobacco (M) Bhd.

Frontken Corp Bhd was the most-actively traded counter.

In currency markets, the ringgit weakened to 3.6417 and 2.6994 against the US dollar and Singapore dollar respectively. Reuters reported that the US dollar scaled its highest level against the yen since 2002 on expectations the US Federal Reserve will raise rates this year.