Bursa stumbles on late selling as KLCI falls to four-year low

(The Star) – Bursa Malaysia closed lower on Tuesday on late selling pressure on selected key stocks, sending the FBM KLCI deeper into the red and the lowest in four years.

At 5pm, the KLCI was down 9.69 points or 0.61% to 1,590.84 – the lowest since September 2015. Turnover was 2.11 billion shares valued at RM2.61bil. There were 293 gainers, 471 losers and 402 counters unchanged.

The KLCI was the worst performer among the key Asian markets. Singapore’s STI fell 0.11%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slipped 0.06% but Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.96%, China’s Shanghai Composite added 1.35% and South Korea’s Kospi 0.43% higher.

However, the volatile US-China trade tensions continued to weigh on investor sentiment and whether there would be a progress in the talks remain to be seen.

“While headline ping pong is expected to continue, there remains a high degree of scepticism regarding the sincerity of US President Donald Trump’s comments or even if the Chinese are willing to recommence with negotiations,” Stephen Innes, managing partner, Valour Markets Pte Ltd Singapore said. Asian markets followed Wall street lead, although trading higher they are well off best levels.

“Bond markets did not take the trade bait as US Treasury 10-year remained bid and the yield curve inverted. Instead, bond traders are still contemplating the ‘bigger enemy’ tweets from Friday when Trump painted both Powell and Xi with the same brush stroke, ” Innes said.

At Bursa, MISC fell 24 sen to RM6.96 and erased 2.44 points, Petronas Dagangan lost 68 sen to RM21.62 and wiped out 1.19 points.

Petronas Gas slumped 34 sen to RM15.36 and erased 1.18 points after it posted net profit of RM502.89mil in the second quarter ended June 30,2019, down1.2% from RM509.32mil a year ago due to higher tax expense.

Petronas Chemical rose eight sen to RM6.88 and Dialog gained two sen to RM3.47.

US light crude oil rose 48 cents to US$54.12 and Brent gained 41 cents to US$59.11.

Hong Leong Bank fell 50 sen to RM16.48 and erased 1.91 points while HLFG was down 74 sen to RM16.24 and wiped out 1.5 points. Public Bank lost 10 sen to RM20.70, AmBank 14 sen to RM3.98, Maybank four sen to RM8.55 and CIMB one sen to RM5.05 but RHB Bank added 10 sen to RM5.72 after its strong results.

Crude palm oil for third month delivery fell RM26 to RM2,243 per tonne. IOI Corp fell eight sen to RM4.25, KL Kepong and PPB Group six sen each to RM23.52 and RM18.74 while Sime Plantation was unchanged at RM4.81.

Sime Darby rose two sen to RM2.11 after its net profit increased by 53.4% to RM948mil in the financial year ended June 30,2019, underpinned by the strong performance of the industrial division and total dividends of eight sen.

Tenaga lost 10 sen to RM13.60, Genting four sen to RM5.92 and MAHB six sen to RM8.50 but Genting Malaysia edged up one sen to RM3.07.

Vitrox was the top gainer, up 39 sen to RM7.14 while Shangri-La rose 31 sen to RM5.14, Allianz 16 sen to RM14.58 and Edgenta 15 sen to RM3.27.

The ringgit fell against the key currencies, down 0.04% to the US dollar at 4.2048; lost 0.2% to the pound sterling to 5.1553 and shed 0.09% to the euro at 4.6754 but edged up 0.03% to the Singapore unit at 3.0284.

The Chinese yuan weakened 0.22% against the US dollar to 7.1667.