Maybank, CIMB weigh as KLCI in the red at midday
KUALA LUMPUR: Maybank and CIMB dragged the FBM KLCI into the red at midday on Thursday as investors stayed mostly on the sidelines as Britain goes to vote over its fate with the EU but the ringgit was mixed against the major currencies.
At 12.30pm, the KLCI was down 0.66 of a point or 0.04% to 1,637.03. Turnover was 542.22 million shares done valued at RM536mil. The broader market was weaker with 374 losers to 204 gainers and 347 counters unchanged.
The ringgit strengthened against the US dollar and Singapore unit but weakened against the surging pound sterling and euro.
At midday, it was at 4.0215 to the greenback from the previous close of 4.0353 and at 3.0057 to the Singapore dollar from 3.0066. However, it slipped against the pound to 5.9501 from 5.9137 and was at 4.5594 to the euro from 4.5483.
The ringgit rose as much as nearly 0.8% to 4.0040 per dollar, its strongest since May 12, on some commercial demand in thin liquidity. Traders found few reasons to add bets in either way ahead of the British vote, Reuters reported.
“If you play big in a wrong way, it will be tough to recover your losses tomorrow morning,” said a senior Malaysian bank trader in Kuala Lumpur. “If the result is meaningful, there will be follow through. We play on that, we don’t need to hurry.”
Maybank fell four sen to RM8.18 and erased 0.67 of a point from the KLCI, CIMB lost four sen to RM4.26, Public Bank added four sen to RM19.28 and Hong Leong Bank two sen higher at RM13.28.
Crude palm oil for third-month delivery fell RM11 to RM2,363 per tonne, the lowest since mid-December 2015 on weak demand.
Among the plantations, United Plantations rose 48 sen to RM27 and Batu Kawan 32 sen to RM18.10 while Sime Darby added six sen to RM7.58 and IOI Corp three sen to RM4.38 but KL Kepong shed two sen to RM23.06.
Time dotCom was the top loser, down 19 sen to RM7.16 with 3,600 shares done. Axiata rose three sen to RM5.51, Digi lost two sen to RM4.66 while Telekom and Maxis were flat at RM6.78 and RM5.79.
US light crude oil rose 29 cents to US$49.42 and Brent gained 25 cents to US$50.13. Petronas Gas lost eight sen to RM21.66, Petronas Chemicals shed three sen to RM6.41 and Petronas Dagangan two sen to RM23.48. SK Petro extended its decline to shed two sen to RM1.40.
AirAsia rose three sen to RM2.67 with 16.83 milion shares done while its call warrants C37 added 1.5 sen to 27.5 sen.
Comintel Corp gained 4.5 sen to 71 sen in active trade, staging a mild recovery after Tuesday’s selldown which prompted a query from Bursa Securities.
As for consumer stocks, BAT rose 94 sen to RM50.94 and F&N 10 sen to RM25.40. However, Calrsberg lost 12 sen to RM13.24.
SAM Sengineering was among the top gainers, up 14 sen to RM7.60.
Among the key regional markets,
Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.77% to 16,189.53;
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added 0.2% to 20,836.45;
CSI 300 fell 0.9% to 3,105.81;
Shanghai’s Composite Index fell 0.83% to 2,881.55;
Shenzhen Composite lost 0.83% to 1,905.39;
Hang Seng China Enterprise shed 0.05% to 8,759.05;
Taiwan’s Taiex lost 0.44% to 8,677.94;
South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.37% to 1,985.24; and
Singapore’s Straits Times Index rose 0.6% to 2,802.77.
Spot gold fell US$2.43 to US$1,263.80.