BURSA MALAYSIA CRASHES TO 10-YEAR LOW – MUHYIDDIN’S ‘HISTORY IN THE MAKING’ SPEECH FAILS TO STEM INVESTOR DISDAIN & FLIGHT

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia resumed its freefall on Tuesday on the back of the movement control order announced by the Malaysian government and an eye-watering decline on Wall Street, which showed the Fed’s stimulus measures have had little effect.

At 9.03am, the FBM KLCI had slumped 68.29 points to 1,212.34, its lowest in over 10 years.

Market breadth was once again overwhelmingly negative with 573 decliners, 23 gainers and 79 counters unchanged.

Overnight, the US market witnessed a historic sell-off as the Dow Jones plunged 13% or nearly 3,000 points, and the S&P500 and Nasdaq dove 12% apiece.

Global markets showed the same anxieties as the continued spread of the coronavirus left investors with levels of extreme uncertainty.

On Tuesday however, Japan’s Nikkei managed to hold firm with just 0.1% lost off the index. Australia’s ASX200, which led declines in the region in the previous session, managed to rebound 2.6%.

Back home, the technical indicators are showing extreme oversold levels given the unrelenting decline on the market.

However, Kenanga research expects the KLCI to remain under pressure moving forward.

“On the chart, we have lowered our support levels to 1,240 (S1) (61.8% retracement level from the trough in 2009 to the peak in 2018) and1,200 (S2). Conversely, the support-turned-resistance levels are now set at 1,310 (R1) and 1,360 (R2),” it said.

Stocks seeing selling pressure in the early moring session included Nestle, diving RM7.20 to RM126, Hong Leong Financial Group falling RM2.18 to RM10.20 and Hong Leong Bank sliding 92 sen to RM12.08.

Top traded counters included Velesto down 1.5 sen to 11 sen, Pansar falling 0.5 sen to 60 sen and Hibiscus Petroleum down four sen to 26.5 sen. – ANN

Markets plunge as intervention fails to staunch virus panic

NEW YORK: Stock markets and oil prices went into freefall Monday as interest rate cuts and fresh stimulus measures by central banks failed to dampen fears amid the global coronavirus pandemic.

The US Federal Reserve on Sunday slashed borrowing costs to zero – its second emergency cut in less than two weeks – and took action coordinated with central banks in several European countries to counteract global “dollar funding pressures.”

The Fed acted again on Monday, with its New York branch announcing another US$500 billion in cash injections on top of a massive liquidity and bond-buying program unveiled in recent days, and the Bank of Japan also announcing new bond purchases.

G7 leaders meanwhile pledged to “do whatever it takes” to protect the economy, and US President Donald Trump acknowledged the world’s largest economy “maybe” headed into a recession.

That sent Wall Street indices to their worst day since 1987, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq dropping about 12% and the Dow sinking nearly 13%.

In Asia-Pacific, Sydney’s stock market had its worst daily drop on record, falling 9.7%.

Shanghai shed 3.4% after the scale of the crisis was laid bare by data showing Chinese industrial production for January and February shrank 13.5%, the first contraction in around 30 years.

Tokyo ended 2.5% lower, after a rally sparked by the Bank of Japan’s support measures announcement fizzled, while Europe’s main markets were down around 10%.

“The aggressive rate cut and stimulus package from the Fed last night acted as a warning signal to the markets,” said CMC Market’s UK analyst David Madden, giving off “the impression they, the Fed, are nervous, and traders have picked up on that.”

Fears are also rising that the Fed may have reached the limit of its power to fend off recession as the coronavirus nears.

“We’re navigating blind as no one truly knows how long this is going to last, let alone what the full consequences are going to be,” Oanda analyst Craig Erlam told AFP.

Pressure on G7 to act

Equity markets have been whipsawed by the disease, which has now infected almost 170,000 people and killed more than 6,000 with several countries going into lockdown as Europe becomes the new epicentre of the outbreak.

But Trump said the crisis should wash through the economy by August, after which there will be a “tremendous surge in the stock market.

Oil prices continued their nosedive as a price war between major producers Saudi Arabia and Russia added to sliding crude demand caused by the virus.

Brent North Sea oil plunged more than 12% to a four-year low, as WTI fell below US$30 per barrel.

Airlines were among the biggest losers after slashing capacity, with British Airways-parent IAG crashing 27% and Lufthansa off by 12%.

US airlines made a plea for a US$50 billion government bailout, warning of vanishing liquidity.

The auto sector also slid as manufacturers Fiat Chrysler, Peugeot-Citroen and Renault said they were halting some if not all production.

Some FCA workers at a truck plant in Michigan staged a walkout amid concerns about the virus.

The G7 emergency leaders meeting was a sign of global cooperation but there was little in the way of specifics offered, unlike the actions taken during the 2008 global financial crisis.

Stephen Innes, global chief markets strategist at AxiCorp, said the pressure was on G7 leaders to find a way to end the carnage.

“The G7 needs to come up with a convincing roadmap and remove markets from peril’s path, by at minimum curtailing short-selling, if not a complete shutdown until the virus data is better understood,” he told AFP.

Innes said leaders should consider closing markets when they hit the triggers for automatic trading pauses.

“Volume is low and volatility high, and the ultimate losers are hard-working folks’ retirement plans and those whose planned retirement move to the beach got pushed back another five or 10 years,” he said. –  AFP

ANN / AFP

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