Banks, plantations drag KLCI into the red
KUALA LUMPUR: Banks and plantations dragged the FBM KLCI into the red on Thursday on rising geopolitical risk and a slump in crude palm oil prices.
At 5pm, the KLCI was down 5.90 points or 0.34% to 1,738.18. Turnover declined to 3.86 billion shares valued at RM2.59bil. The broader market weaken further with decliners beating advancers nearly four to one, with 765 losers and 220 gainers while 305 counters were unchanged.
Key Asian markets were mostly lower as investors were reluctant to stake out positions amid simmering geopolitical tensions. Geopolitical risks around the Korean peninsula and the Middle East checked investors’ appetite for risk, according to Reuters.
Markets were also pondering US President Donald Trump’s comments to the Wall Street Journal that he preferred interest rates kept low.
The ringgit rose against the US dollar and the Euro but weakened against the pound sterling and Singapore dollar. The local unit rose 0.33% to 4.4140 against the greenback from 4.4288 and was up 0.06% against the Euro to 4.7010 from 4.7039.
However, the ringgit weakened 0.05% against the pound at 5.5428 from 5.5398 and slipped against the Singapore unit to 3.1642 from 3.1618.
Crude palm oil for third-month delivery fell RM11 to RM2,578 per tonne as the early rebound fizzled out. United Plantations fell 70 sen to RM27.80, KL Kepong was down 38 sen to RM24.10 and Genting Plantations 34 sen lower at RM11.32, Sime Darby shed two sen to RM9.28 but PPB Group added two sen to RM16.68.
IOI Corp lost 10 sen to RM4.40 after it was downgraded by a foreign research house and the decline erased 1.1 points from the KLCI.
As for consumer stocks, Nestle fell 78 sen to RM81.20, Heineken lost 44 sen to RM17.94 and Ajinomoto fell 30 sen to RM16.90.
Among the banks, CIMB fell nine sen to RM5.28 and it wiped out 1.35 points from the KLCI. RHB Bank fell five sen to RM5.09, Maybank two sen lower at RM8.96, Public Bank two sen lower at RM19.94 while Hong Leong Bank was flat at RM13.70 but AmBank edge dup one sen to RM4.90.
Genting Bhd lost 15 sen to RM9.36 which saw 0.95 of a point erased from the KLCI but Genting Malaysia added 13 sen to RM5.68 and nudged the KLCI up 1.3 points. Tenaga rose two sen to RM13.74.
Chip maker MPI fell 58 sen to RM11.22 with 105,100 shares done on profit taking.
HCK Capital fell 47 sen to RM5.73 after the previous day’s price surge in the absence of strong nerwsflow.
JHM Consolidated’s recent rally hit a speed bump, falling 24 sen to RM3.66 as investors were worried about the sustainability in the run-up.
Investors poured money into EITA, pushing the low-profile stock up 27 sen to RM1.96 with 6.56 million shares after a positive coverage from CIMB Equities Research.
Bison continued its charge, up 13 sen to RM2.23 on positive outlook from analysts.
Pos Malaysia added nine sen to RM5.10 on rising investor interest in the logistics play.
US light crude oil rose one cent to US$53.12 and Brent added four cents to US$55.90. Petronas Dagangan rose eight sen to RM24.16 but Petronas Chemicals lost five sen to RM7.75 and Petronas Gas 12 sen lower at RM19.56.
As for telcos, Axiata fell six sen to RM5.13, Telekom and Digi were flat at RM6.39 and RM5.10 while Maxis gained one sen to RM6.42.
Among the key regional markets,
Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.68% to 18,426.84;
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index lost 0.21% to 24,261.66;
CSI 300 rose 0.15% to 3,514.76;
Shanghai’s Composite Index eked out a 0.07% gain to 3,275.96;
Hang Seng China Enterprise lost 0.04% to 10,204.34;
Taiwan’s Taiex edged up 0.19% to 9,836.68
South Korea’s Kospi was the top performer, up 0.93% to 2,148.61 and
Singapore’s Straits Times Index lost 0.53% 3,169.24.
Spot gold gained just four cents to US$1,286.83.