KUALA LUMPUR: Key Asian markets and Bursa Malaysia fell early Wednesday as investors exited riskier assets including equities after the US slapped more tariffs on China.
At 9.17am, the FBM KLCI was down 4.58 points or 0.27% to 1,682.55. Turnover was 198.33 million shares done valued at RM104.29mil. There were 82 gainers, 236 losers and 192 counters unchanged.
Asian stocks retreated and perceived safe havens such as the yen and US Treasuries rose on Wednesday after the US said it would impose tariffs on an extra US$200bil worth of Chinese imports, sharply escalating the trade war between the world’s two biggest economies, Reuters reported.
The US had just imposed tariffs on US$34bil worth of Chinese goods on Friday. US President Donald Trump had warned then that his country may ultimately impose tariffs on more than US$500bil worth of Chinese imports.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.4 percent. The index had gained for the past two sessions, having enjoyed a lull from the trade war fears that lashed global markets last week.
South Korea’s KOSPI lost 1% and Japan’s Nikkei fell 1.2%.
S&P 500 and Dow futures were down 0.8% and 0.95%, respectively, pointing to a lower open for Wall Street later in the day.
At Bursa, BAT fell 34 sen to RM34.02, Axiata 12 sen to RM4.05, Top Glove 12 sen to RM9.78 and SP Setia nine sen to RM2.98.