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KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia ended in the red on Tuesday, in line with regional markets on concerns about an escalation in Sino-U.S. tension.
The FBM KLCI closed down 7.02 points, or 0.47% at 1,495.05 after hitting an intraday high of 1,503.00.
Market sentiment was weak, with 698 losers outpacing 228 gainers and 364 counters which traded unchanged. Turnover was at 2.85 billion shares valued at RM1.59bil.
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who arrived in Malaysia earlier today, is expected to visit Taiwan, despite warnings from China.
“We're seeing more risk aversion on Tuesday as Nancy Pelosi's trip to Taiwan generates numerous unsettling headlines at a time of strained ties between the US and China,” Craig Erlam, senior market analyst, UK & EMEA, OANDA said.
He noted that Pelosi's proposed visit had been met with numerous threats from Beijing including an unspecified military response.
“They have continued this morning, hours ahead of the apparent arrival which is clearly making investors very nervous.”
“Stock markets throughout most of Asia are in the red, with those in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan unsurprisingly seeing the biggest declines.
“In Europe, it's more of a mixed bag while US futures are pointing to a slightly lower open which may change in the hours leading up to the opening bell depending on where Pelosi touches down,” Erlam said.,
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropped 1.28%.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed 1.42% lower at 27,594.73 while South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.52%, at 2,439.62.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was down 2.36%, at 19,689.21.
CSI300 index edged down 1.95% to 4,107.02, while the Shanghai Composite Index fell 2.26% at 3,186.27 points.
On Bursa Malaysia, Malaysian Pacific Industries lost 58 sen to RM31.52, Kuala Lumpur Kepong fell 54 sen to RM21.96, LPI Capital eased 30 sen to RM13.34 and Aeon Credit fell 28 sen to RM14.06.
Malaysian Genomics Resource Centre hit limit down, falling 29.7%, or 30 sen to 71 sen with 15.45 million shares traded.
Among the gainers, Heineken Malaysia jumped RM1.10 to RM23.60, Carlsberg gained 32 sen to RM22.84, Complete Logistic Services rose 20 sen to RM3.75 and Mercury Industries climbed 19 sen to 88 sen.
Meanwhile, the ringgit was quoted at 4.4550, down 0.04% against the US dollar.
US West Texas Intermediate crude eased 56 cents to US$93.33 and Brent fell 78 cents to US$99.25 per barrel.