KLSE falls and trading halted: Bursa KL merudum jatuh dan digantung!

So, the trading halt on Bursa Saham Kuala Lumpur (BSKL) or Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (KLSE) has been lifted and we are back trading again. The Composite Index is recorded an increase of 30.29 points or 2.58% as of 10.20 am Malaysian time just now. That’s a minuscule if you compare it with yesterday. Our market plunged a little over 130 points or more than 10% before being put on a trading halt at 2.58 pm.

Well, to be honest, that was to be expected. I’m sure a lot of people can only guess how the stock market was going to react to the Pilihan Raya Umum ke-12 results. It is usually an understood and well-accepted phenomenom that the market will rally up to the election and then cool off a little bit after. However, to be honest, due to the bear market that has unfolded globally and the huge volatility that struck our local market, we actually didn’t see much of a rally at all.

Whatever it is, I’m sure a lot of people were not expecting the market to free fall by that much yesterday!

I did expect the market to fall handsomely on Monday but I also was not expecting 10%.

Why did it happen? There are a lot of theories out there and here’s mine. The big fall was due to the opposition getting their so-called political tsunami and the denial of Barisan Nasional (BN) from their two third majority target.

Logic behind this could be:

Well, investors had felt safe and comfortable investing in our market before the election because they were satisfied with the policies (I’m using this term loosely here) carried out by the BN government. They were confident that BN is invincible. After BN was denied the two third majority and the opposition managed to invade the parliament and BN’s territory, investors started to get nervous, afraid that some of the policies will get questioned and kicked out of the door. Bear in mind that the opposition (or Barisan Rakyat) is a force to be reckoned with now. Putting myself in an investor’s size-10 shoes, I myself would feel nervous. Some investors might think that policies that induces economic growth (and inflation for that matter) will be scrapped and some of the policies (like the Negara Kebajikan policy) of the Barisan Rakyat adopted instead. Please please please, I’m not implying that one is better than the other. I’m just merely talking from an investor’s perspective.

Anyway, what did the investors do? Dump the stocks. When the big guns started dumping the stocks (which pushes the market down), the small fish will follow suit as well. Not to mention the margin calls and triggered stop losses that further drives down the market.

Call it panic selling if you may.

So, that’s my theory.

I’m sure my unit trust investment got hammered yesterday as well. Hard times folks. Hard times indeed.
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Stock Market Behaviour: What’s up with Wall Street?

I still remember the interview that I watched on TV3’s Ringgit Sense a while back involving our second Finance Minister, Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop. According to him, speaking of international trade, we are relying less and less on the United States of America. This was when he was questioned about the impact on Malaysia if the US goes into a recession.

However, as we have seen up until today, we are still being affected by what has happened in Wall Street overnight, stock market-wise of course. So, what’s up with that? Generally, if the Dow Jones declines, it will somehow influence the direction of the local market the next day.

Now, based on my limited knowledge, I shall try to explain this peculiar occurrence.

First of all, we need to understand that the stock market is not driven by economic data, or any fundamental data for that matter. This is especially true in the short-term.

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