KLCI finishes down 7.56 points as US-China spat escalates

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 9): The FBM KLCI finished 7.56 points or 0.48% lower at 1,551.23 today as the broadening US-China dispute over trade and foreign policy weighed down world markets.

Reuters reported that the US State Department announced the visa restrictions just a day after the US Commerce Department cited the mistreatment of Uighur Muslims in China in its decision to add 20 Chinese public security bureaus and eight companies to a trade blacklist.

It was reported that the US' moves cast a pall over US-China trade talks in Washington, where deputy negotiators met for a second day to prepare for the first Minister-level meetings in more than two months on Thursday and Friday.

"Asian stocks fell the most in a week on Wednesday as the US and China's broadening dispute over trade and foreign policy showed little sign of coming to an end, weighing on global economic growth," Reuters said.

In Malaysia today, Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd senior analyst Kenneth Leong told theedgemarkets.com the KLCI remained downbeat after languishing in negative territory for the entire trading session, spooked by the renewed US share trade volatility at Wall Street overnight.

“Moving forward, the KLCI's losses might be cushioned by the upcoming tabling of (Malaysia's) Budget 2020 (on Friday) in anticipation of higher development expenditure," Leong said.

Across Bursa Malaysia today, turnover ended at 1.9 billion shares worth RM1.68 billion after broad-based selling across the exchange.

All indices on the bourse closed down except the palm oil, energy and transportation indices. The index for small market capitalisation stocks lost 19.47 points or 0.15% to close at 13,164.89.

Within the KLCI, Top Glove Corp Bhd was the top-percentage decliner followed by Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB). Top Glove closed down 10 sen or 2.24% at RM4.37 while MAHB fell 16 sen or 1.84% to RM8.53.