KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 9 – Fund selling of Tenaga Nasional and Axiata pushed the FBM KLCI into the end on Friday, mirroring the cautious key Asian and European markets on the lack of any positive indications from the US-China trade row.
At 5pm, the KLCI was down 6.87 points or 0.41% to 1,686.52. Turnover was 2.48 billion shares valued at RM1.72bil. Advancers led decliners 407 to 344 while 347 counters were unchanged.
The ringgit eked out a 0.07% gain against the US dollar to 4.0688 and strengthened 0.33% against the euro to 4.6094 and broke past 3.0 against the Singapore dollar, up 0.13% to 2.9994. However, it fell 0.04% against the pound sterling to 5.2604.
Global shares fell for a third straight day and were set to post their first weekly loss in seven, as investors worried about a broadening global economic slowdown and the lack of any sign of a resolution to the US-China trade row, Reuters reported.
Weak earnings saw a subdued open for European stocks although most major indices climbed into the black for the day, putting the pan-European STOXX 600 in positive territory.
But stock markets in Asia earlier eased, with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan shedding half a percent, easing back from a four-month peak touched the previous day. Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 2.01%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index 0.16% lower, and South Korea’s Kospi slid 1.2% but Singapore’s STI edged up 0.04%.
At Bursa, Tenaga fell 22 sen to RM13.20 while Axiata lost 17 sen to RM3.73. Tenaga’s decline erased nearly two points from the KLCI while Axiata erased 2.4 points.
Some foreign funds have continued to reduce their stakes in the power giant while for Axiata, it came under selling pressure on news that it had been hit with a capital gains tax bill of RM2.16bil by the Nepalese Supreme Court.
Crude palm oil for third month delivery fell RM29 to RM2,289 per tonne. Among the plantations, KL Kepong lost 18 sen to RM24.52, Genting Plantations fell 14 sen to RM10.30, IOI Corp eight sen to RM4.57 but IJM Plantation rose 11 sen to RM1.80. Sime Plantation eked out a gain of one sen to RM5.16.
As for other telcos, Digi lost two sen to RM4.58 and Maxis was unchanged at RM5.70.
Among the banks, Public Bank rose eight sen to RM24.92, CIMB gained two sen to RM5.67 but Hong Leong Bank shed two sen to RMRM20.90 and Mayank eased one sen to RM9.58.
US light crude oil shed three cents to US$52.61 but Brent rose 25 cents to US$61.88. Petronas Dagangan gained 16 sen to RM26.12, Petronas Gas six sen to RM18.06 and Petronas Chemical two sen to RM8.45.
As for consumer stocks, BAT fell 80 sen to RM37.20, F&N 32 sen to RM33.42 and Heineken 18 sen to RM20.92 but Ajinomoto rose 12 sen to RM18.74.