Malaysia becomes Asia's worst stock market as election looms

Malaysia's FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index has turned out to be the worst Asian equity gauge so far this year with less than 5 per cent growth.
Malaysia's FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index has turned out to be the worst Asian equity gauge so far this year with less than 5 per cent growth. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

KUALA LUMPUR (BLOOMBERG) - Malaysia's FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index has turned out to be the worst Asian equity gauge so far this year with less than 5 per cent growth. And an undetermined election date isn't helping.

Even as it received the most foreign inflows this year in South-east Asia, the nation's benchmark measure has continued to lag behind all its major regional peers from Hong Kong to India - some of whose gauges have rallied more than 25 per cent this year.

"There's some uncertainties weighing down the market, but there are also positive factors like oil, strong exports and the solid economic growth supporting it," Danny Wong Teck Meng, chief executive of Areca Capital said by phone. Still, with earnings season in full swing, some surprises could provide catalysts for a more positive sentiment, he added.