Late selling pushes KLCI into the red, ringgit weaker
KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips closed lower on Thursday on late selling of selected stocks, in line with the weaker key Asian markets while the ringgit continued to weaken against the key currencies.
At 5pm, the FBM KLCI was down 2.01 points or 0.12% to 1,665.02. Turnover was 1.76 billion shares valued at RM1.94bil. The broader market was weaker with decliners beating advancers 485 to 304 and 411 counters unchanged.
The recovery in crude oil prices were unable to shore up the KLCI which saw volatile trading and the ringgit ended lower against the US dollar and Singapore unit.
The lack of strong and firm leads from funds and the absence of strong positive corporate newsflow and the weak ringgit weighed on sentiment.
The ringgit fell to 4.2125 against the US dollar – the lowest since end-February – from the 4.1985 the previous day. It also fell against the Singapore dollar to 3.0440 – again the lowest since Jan 21 – from 3.0376. The Singapore dollar closely tracks the greenback’s movement.
However, the ringgit firmed up against the pound sterling to 5.1352 from 5.1472 but slipped against the Euro to 4.6394 from 4.6284.
Also all was not well on the international front, with Reuters reporting world stocks stumbled to three-week lows on Thursday and developed market bond yields dipped, after Chinese data showed a sharp decline in exports, reviving concerns about the health of the world’s second-biggest economy.
Asia’s markets suffered falls overnight after data showed Chinese imports in dollar terms were back in contractionary territory in September, while exports dropped by a sharper-than-expected 10%, the wire report said.
Axiata fell six sen to RM5.14 and erased 0.91 point from the KLCI. Maxis and Telekom shed two sen each to RM6.03 and RM6.68 while Digi rose two sen to RM5.01.
IHH Healthcare fell four sen to RM6.44 and wiped ut 0.56 points from the KLCI while MISC lost seven sen to RM7.61.
BAT was the top loser, down 92 sen to RM47.82 while another consumer stock Heineken lost 12 sen to RM17.46. F&N was the top gainer, up 52 sen to RM24.50.
US light crude oil was flat at RM50.18 and Brent added seven cents to US$51.88. However, the overall weaker market sentiment saw investors selling Petronas Dagangan and Petronas Gas.
Petronas Dagangan fell 18 sen to RM23.28 and Petronas Gas 12 sen lower at RM21.84. Petronas Chemicals was unchanged at RM6.81 while SapuraKencana lost two sen to RM1.65.
Among the banks, AmBank rose six sen to RM4.12, CIMB edged up one sen to RM4.82, Hong Leong Bank and Public Bank shed two sen each to RM13.18 and RM19.74 while RHB Bank lost five sen to RM4.58 and Maybank eased three sen to RM7.63.
Perisai lost 0.5 sen to seven sen, off the earlier all time low of 6.5 sen. The company, which has been classified as a Practice Note 17 company, was the most active with 125.6 million shares done.
Crude palm oil for third month delivery fell RM28 to RM2,625 per tonne. PPB Group rose 12 sen to RM16.28 and Harisson 11 sen higher at RM3.30 but IOI Corp lost four sen toRM4.46 and Sime Darby three sen to RM7.85.
Among the key regional markets,
Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.39% to 16,774.24;
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 1.61% to 23,031.30;
CSI 300 added 0.08% to 3,392.65;
Shanghai’s Composite Index edged up 0.09% to 3,061.35;
Hang Seng China Enterprise fell 1.82% to 9,496.85;
Taiwan’s Taiex lost 0.36% to 9,219.17;
South Korea’s Kospi was down 0.9% to 2,015.44; and
Singapore’s Straits Times Index shed 0.29% to 2,805.48.
Spot gold rose US$3.75 to US$1,259.