Axiata sends KLCI to lower close, ringgit at Sept 2015 level
KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips closed lower on Thursday as Axiata Group came under selling pressure after its results while the ringgit slumped to a September 2015 low against the strong US dollar.
At 5pm, the FBM KLCI was down 6.17 points or 0.38% to 1,624.21. Turnover was 1.3 billion shares valued at RM1.27bil. Decliners beat advancers 452 to 302 while 344 counters were unchanged.
The ringgit weakened 0.35% against the greenback to 4.4602 from the previous close of 4.4445 as the US dollar firmed up against the major currencies.
The local unit slipped against the pound sterling to 5.5395 from 5.5070 but eked out some gains against the Singapore dollar to 3.1111 from 3.1163 and was quoted at 4.7075 to the Euro from 4.7142.
Asian stocks outside Japan fell for the first time in three days as concern about higher US borrowing costs dragged markets from Indonesia to South Korea lower, while Tokyo shares continued their winning streak.
Indonesia led emerging markets in Asia lower after US data on durable goods and manufacturing boosted the U.S. economy’s outlook and galvanised the odds for an interest rate hike next month. Japan’s Topix index resumed trading after a holiday to cap its 10th day of gains as the dollar’s continued ascent to the strongest in more than a decade sent the yen tumbling.
At Bursa Malaysia, Axiata erased 2.50 points from the KLCI when it fell 17 sen to RM4.31.
Axiata president and group CEO Tan Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim said while on-quarter, the telco performed better, he cautioned that 2016 remains challenging for the group across most of our markets.
He cited the markets were particularly in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and India where fiercer competition and rising capex have weighed in on overall performance and profitability.
Consumer stocks also fell with BAT the top loser, down 64 sen to RM43.86, Nestle 50 sen lower ar RM77 and Dutch Lady lost 26 sen to RM56.24.
Genting Malaysia fell nine sen to RM4.63 and wiped out 0.87 of a point, Genting Malaysia also lost nine sen to RM8.06. Power giant Tenaga Nasional lost two sen to RM14.18 and IHH Healthcare was down four sen to RM6.39.
Crude palm oil (CPO) for third month delivery was up RM51 to RM3,005. Kuala Lumpur Kepong was flat at RM23.74, Sime Darby and IOI Corp lost two sen to RM4.38, PPB Group was down six sen to RM15.70.
FGV managed to climb three sen to RM1.58 after the recent heavy selling.
US light crude oil rose 10 cents to US$48.06 and Brent added 12 cents to US$49.07. Petronas Dagangan added two sen to RM23.60 but Petronas Gas shed two sen to RM21.44 and Petronas Chemicals was down five sen to RM6.85. SapuraKencana edged up one sen to RM1.47.
Bumi Armada slipped to fresh lows, down 4.5 sen to 55.5 sen with 47.8 million shares done after continued to record losses.
As for banks, Hong Leong Bank and Maybank gained two sen each to RM13.22 and RM7.70, AmBank and CIMB rose four sen each to RM4.18 and RM4.64 while Public Bank was flat at RM19.56. RHB Bank fell seven sen to RM4.68.
MSC was the top gainer, up 20 sen to RM4.49, underpinned by the strong tin prices. Tin plater Perstima added 14 sen to RM7.05.
US spot gold fell 62 cents to US$1,187.70 – the lowest since February.