KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 – Blue chips closed lower on Monday as earlier buying support for blue chips fizzled out with investors seen retreating, tracking the gloomy key Asian markets.
At 5pm, the KLCI was down two points or 0.12% at 1,728.74. Turnover was 2.03 billion shares valued at RM2.02bil. Decliners led advancers five to three or 532 losers to 342 gainers nad 359 counters were unchanged.
Key Asian markets were mostly lower with Japan stocks topping the losers list as the Nikkei 225 lost 1.87% and Hang Seng Index fell 1.54%, Shanghai Composite Index was down 1.49% and Singapore STI lost 0.76%.
Supportive words from China’s securities regulator failed to slow the US$3 trillion rout in the the nation’s stock market, as evidence of weakening domestic demand added to concern about the trade war with the US, Bloomgerg reported.
US stock index futures fell as investors turned cautious again amid rising political tensions between Washington and Riyadh, while trade frictions worsened between the US and China, the news wire said reported.
At Bursa, IHH fell eight sen to RM5.10 and erased 1.18 points from the KLCI. Genting Malaysia fell six sen to RM4.29 and Genting three sen to RM7.16 while power giant Tenaga was down two sen to RM14.58.
US light crude oil rose 42 cents to US$71.76 and Brent added 77 cents to US$81.20, with Bloomberg reporting that traders assessed a threat by Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest crude exporter, to retaliate against any punishment over the disappearance of a government critic.
Oil and gas stocks were mixed. Petronas Chemicals climbed 12 sen to RM9.40 and pushed the KLIC up 1.72 points while Petronas Dagangan gained 22 sen to RM26.20 but Petronas Gas lost 24 sen to RM18.24. Dialog shed two sen to RM3.32.
Crude palm oil for third month delivery rise RM11 to RM2,204 per tonne. IJM Plantations lost 17 sen to RM2.06, Sime Plantation lost three sen to RM5.18 and IOI Corp one sen to RM4.49 while KL Kepong was flat at RM24.88 and PPB Group rose 10 sen to RM16.90.
Glove makers fared better with Top Glove up 44 sen to RM11.22 and Hartalega 15 sen to RM6.40.
Consumer stocks were mixed with Heineken down 54 sen to RM18.48 and Carlsberg down 30 sen to RM18.50 and Dutch Lady 18 sen lower at RM64.30. Nestle rose 90 sen to RM145. BAT 50 sen added to RM35 and F&N 18 sen higher at RM36.22.
As for banking stocks, RHB Bank, Maybank, Public Bank and Hong Leong Bank were unchanged at RM5.30, RM9.58, RM24.98 and RM20.50 respectively. CIMB shed two sen to RM5.93.
Digi led telcos lower, down seven sen to RM4.39, Telekom three sen to RM2.57 and Axiatra two sen to RM3.90 while Maxis eked out a one sen gain to RM5.51.
Gamuda extended its gains for the third day as investors hoped for a positive outcome for its joint venture with MMC Corp over the MRT 2 project.
The ringgit fell 0.04% against the US dollar to 4.1558 and weakened 0.07% to the Singapore unit at 3.0178 but it gained 0.56% against the pound sterling at 5.4594 and inched up 0.06% to the euro art 4.8100.