KLCI struggles while most key Asian markets close lower
KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips closed lower on late selling pressure on Friday, taking its cue from the cautious key Asian markets, with Genting Malaysia, Axiata and Tenaga among the decliners.
At 5pm, the FBM KLCI was down 2.99 points or 0.17% to 1,767.08 and year-to-date it is up 7.64%Turnover was 1.64 billion shares valued at RM2.20bil. There were 326 gainers, 456 losers and 411 stocks unchanged.
Overall market sentiment remained cautious, with buying focus only tech-related stocks while nearly all KLCI stocks put up a lacklustre performance except for CIMB. Even trading volume remained lacklustre, reflecting the lack of buying interest from retail investors.
On the external front, Hong Kong shares ended lower as investors took profit after strong gains earlier in the week, and following weakness overnight in US technology stocks, Reuters reported.
The ringgit slipped against the US dollar but edged up against the pound sterling, Singapore dollar and the euro in very volatile trade, especially in late trade.
The ringgit fell 0.11% to the greenback at 4.2813. However, it rose 0.34% to the pound sterling, added 0.11% to the Singapore unit at 3.1479 and gained 0.12% to the euro at 5.0097.
At Bursa Malaysia, star performer CIMB extended its gains, closing five sen higher at RM6.64 and added 0.77 of a point to the KLCI while Public Bank rose four sen to RM20.54 and Hong Leong Bank two sen higher at RM15.80 while Maybank was flat at RM9.64.
RHB Bank which is in merger talks with AmBank fell. RHB Bank fell six sen to RM5.03 and AmBank five sen lower at RM4.94.
As for telcos, Telekom rose six sen to RM6.33, Maxis three sen to RM5.62, Digi added two sen to RM4.80 but Axiata fell six sen and erased 0.92 of a point.
Genting Malaysia fell 12 sen to RM5.99 and wiped out 1.2 points from the KLCI while Genting Bhd lost eight sen to RM9.64. Tenaga was down eight sen also to RM14.16 after its earnings were impacted by higher tax rates.
Crude palm oil for third-month delivery fell RM21 to RM2,656 per tonne. PPB Group rose four sen to RM16.84, KL Kepong was ucnhanged at RM24.70, IOI Corp shed one sen to RM4.47. United Plantations was the top gainer, up 60 sen to RM27.80 while Batu Kawan gained 16 sen to RM19.10.
Sime Darby lost four sen to RM9.50. Earlier it annnounced it was on track for the listing of its plantations and property units by year-end and it also unveiled the new chairman and senior leadership for the three units.
US light crude oil was flat at US$49.04 and Brent jumped 24 cents to US$51.73. Petronas Dagangan and Petronas Gas were flat at RM23.86 and RM18.96 while Petronas Chemicals shed one sen to RM6.95.
However the two refiners continued to buck the market trend. Hengyuan rose 54 sen to RM6.90 and Petron 35 sen to RM8.85.
Aeon Credit lost 26 sen to RM13.70 and Allianz 18 sen lower at RM14.66.
Tasek fell 16 sen to RM12.84 after its earnings fell while CMSB, which is involved in cement and construction, rose 20 sen to RM3.89.
Tech-related Elsoft rose 21 sen to RM2.80.
Among the key regional markets,
Japan’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.6% to 19,959.84;
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index lost 0.56% to 26,979.39;
CSI 300 rose 0.11% to 3,253.24;
Shanghai’s Composite Index edged up 0.11% to 3,253.24;
Hang Seng China Enterprise fell 0.94% to 10,756.08;
Taiwan’s Taiex lost 0.81% to 10,423.05;
South Korea’s Kospi tumbled 1.73% to 2,400.99 and
Singapore’s Straits Times Index lost 0.71% to 3,330.75.
Spot gold rose 48 cents to US$1,259.63.