KLCI opens below 1,700 level as dour mood keeps Asian markets down

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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 16): The FBM KLCI opened below the 1,700-point level on Tuesday following the overnight rout at most global markets kept investor sentiment dour at most regional markets today.

At 9am, the FBM KLCI fell 8.57 points to 1,688.74.

The top losers included UMW Holdings Bhd, Kluang Rubber Company (Malaya) Bhd. IJM Corporation Bhd, DKSH Holdings Bhd, AMMB Holdings Bhd, Berjaya Auto Bhd, BIMB Holdings Bhd, Sime Darby Bhd, IHH Healthcare Bhd and Public Bank Bhd.

Regionally, oil prices continued to slide on Tuesday, while the rouble jumped against the dollar after Russia sharply hiked its benchmark interest rate to halt a collapse in its currency, according to Reuters.

The dour mood kept equities down in Asia, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan down 0.1 percent in early trade, it said.

BIMB Securities Research in a market preview Tuesday said stocks in Asia were hammered on Monday as most closed broadly lower following the disastrous session in on Wall Street and Europe last Friday.

The research house said most oil/energy related stocks were adversely affected on the back of weak crude oil prices.

It said Thailand was the worst impacted losing more than 9% at one time before recovering to end 2.4% lower.

“Locally, the FBM KLCI lost 35.68 points at 1,697.31 dipping below the 1,700 mark for the first time since Aug 2013.

“Foreign selling was again evident yesterday with another net outflow of RM179.2 million.

“The local bourse is expected to consolidate further with immediate support seen at 1,690 amid some bargain hunting activities,” it said.