No. 6985 PP2644/12/2012 (031195) www.thesundaily.my



X IRB toaddress taxevasion loopholes page07

X Drug-laced cigarettes

seized page04

X Tunku’s invaluable legacy page19






Worldmarkets plunge LONDON: Panic gripped trading floors across the world yesterday, with Asia and Europe plunging after record-breaking losses on Wall Street on Monday, as inves- tors fretted over the prospect of rising US interest rates and took profits following months of mar- kets euphoria. The selloff began last Friday when bright US non-farmpayrolls data sparked fears that inflation will surge this year – and that the Federal Reserve will be forced to raise borrowing costs more quickly than anticipated. In opening trade on Tuesday, Europeanstockmarketscollapsed by about 3.5%, mirroring dra- matic falls across Asia. Meanwhile, New York stocks, which saw the Dow Jones Indus- trial Average falling 1,175.20 points on Monday, started their trading yesterday with another jaw-droppingfallastheDow index dived 2.7%. But within minutes, a fierce battle played out between those bettingonafurtherdownturnand thosewhothoughtthatthemarket correction hadgonetoofar, lead- ing to some wild price swings. After a brief foray into positive territory, theDow index stabilised at levels around 1% lower on the day. – Agencies

KLCI in free fall after GLOBAL TUMBLE but recoups some losses


Investors monitoring share prices

on Bursa Malaysia. The FBM KLCI was

BY LEEWENG KHUEN AND EE ANNNEE sunbiz@thesundaily.com P ETALING JAYA: The global stock market continued to tumble yesterday on fears over the sharp plunge in the US market, with the FBM KLCI falling as much as 57.22 points, or 3.1%, wiping off a total of RM43 billioninmarketcapitalisationinjust a day. The KLCI managed to recoup some of its losses to close 40.62 pointsor2.2%lowerat1,812.45points, withsome5.21billionshareschanging hands valued at RM5.32 billion. The index staged a free fall to 1,814.43 points just after the opening bell, before dropping below the 1,800-pointpsychologicalleveltoan intraday low of 1,795.85 points at around 11am. Losersoutnumberedgainers10to one, with 1,215 stocks losing ground and only 121 posting gains on

not spared the global stocks rout, skidding 40.62 points yesterday.

concerns over the heavy sell-off in the USmarket. AmongthetoploserswereNestle (Malaysia)BhdwhichfellRM2.30to RM114.30, while British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd and Petronas Dagangan Bhd declined RM1.32 and RM1.12 to RM32 and RM24.58 respectively. Injusttwotradingdays,theKLCI has lost 58.03 points, or 3.1%, almost erasing all gains made since the beginning of the year. Year-to-date, the KLCI still posted gains of 0.9%. Across the region, Hong Kong was among the hardest hit (-5.12%),

followed by Taiwan (-4.95%), Japan (-4.73%) and Singapore (-2.2%). Onthecurrencyfront,theringgit also lost its shine yesterday on the US dollar strength, depreciating as much as 0.5% to a low of 3.9175 againstthegreenback.Asof5pm,the ringgit traded at 3.9155 to the US dollar, 0.4% lower than yesterday’s 3.8995. Speculation mounted that a strongcorrectionhasfinallycomeas the US stocks have been at its all- time highs over the past few months. Nonetheless, analysts do not see

themoves as a sign of an impending global market crash but more of a correction of the overbought US market, which was well ahead of its fundamentals. Areca Capital Sdn Bhd CEO Danny Wong said there are no strong indicators – in the formof oil slump,currentaccountreversaland inflationspike–thatcouldcontribute to a collapse in the global market. “ForMalaysia, although inflation is high, it is not out of control, and it will not cause the central bank to


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