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Malaysian assets plummet after government imposes full lockdown

(Bloomberg) – Malaysian stocks fell and the ringgit weakened after the government imposed a two-week nationwide lockdown to curb a relentless spike in Covid-19 infections. The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI index fell by 1.6% Monday, before stabilizing. losses at 0.7% at the close in Kuala Lumpur. The ringgit slipped 0.4% to 4.1480 per dollar, while 10-year bond yields rose three basis points to 3.25%. The government said on Friday that most businesses would be closed from June 1, except for key sectors of the economy and services. “The government is finally biting the bullet,” said Alexander Chia, analyst at RHB Investment Bank Bhd. risk to earnings growth of FY21, although this is essentially a postponement of growth to FY22. Malaysia’s return to a hard lockdown comes on the heels of record daily infections that saw the number of cases surpass 9,000 on Saturday. A resurgence of virus outbreaks in Asia has prompted some countries, including Vietnam and Singapore, to tighten restrictions. A similar lockdown in Malaysia last year cost the country around 63 billion ringgit ($ 15 billion). Vietnam has tightened social distancing measures in Ho Chi Minh City for 15 days starting May 31, while Singapore this month reissued some lockdown conditions it has put in place. The DimsMalaysia lockdown “will slow the country’s recovery, with a good chance that second-quarter GDP growth will contract sequentially,” said Khoon Goh, Asia research manager at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. “We will likely see the ringgit continue to underperform in the region, but its weakness is offset by a weak US dollar.” READ: ‘Covid Zero’ Havens finds reopening more difficult than taming virus Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin must announce a According to his Facebook post, Monday at 9 p.m. local time Monday’s market decline is pale compared to last year, when the KLCI fell 5% per day after announcing a nationwide lockdown. Ivy Ng Lee Fang, analyst at CGS-CIMB Securities, Ivy Ng Lee Fang, analyst at CGS-CIMB Securities, said in a report that the forecast of a “mild” reaction is due to the availability of vaccines and a government plan to increase daily vaccination rates in the second half of 2021. Strong export sales, strong market liquidity and low interest rates have also helped to limit the market decline, she said. declared. GDP Outlook Malaysia’s gross domestic product fell 0.5% in the first quarter from a year earlier, the central bank said earlier in May, adding that it expects growth to stay within. the forecast range of 6% to 7.5% for the whole year. Banks, including Public Bank Bhd. and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd., fell, while Maxis Bhd. and Supermax Corp. were among the biggest drops in the benchmark gauge. , down more than 2%. Top Glove Corp. was the top winner in the key stocks measure, up 1.8%. The benchmark Malaysian equities index is down 6% from a December high as investor concerns over the impact of tighter restrictions on movement weigh on riskier assets. in cyclical sectors, it will take a longer term investment perspective with a focus on securing a favorable entry price, ”said Chia of RHB Investment. “Trading angle will remain a lasting theme in the coming quarters that will continue to focus on small and mid caps with resilient growth attributes.” (Updates with PM release in seventh paragraph) More articles like this are available on bloomberg.com ahead of time with the most trusted source of business news. © 2021 Bloomberg LP



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