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Published: Friday January 11, 2013 MYT 6:00:00 PM
By Joseph Chin
KUALA LUMPUR: Genting Bhd and Genting Malaysia fell on Friday, dragging the FBM KLCI into the red but the broader market was firmer, with buying interest seen in banks and telcos, supported by the strengthening ringgit.
At the close, the KLCI was down 1.87 points or 0.11% to 1,682.70. Turnover rose to 1.45 billion shares valued at RM1.41bil. The broader market improved, with 367 gainers, 347 losers and 332 counters unchanged.
Genting fell 23 sen to RM9.51, erasing 1.96 points of the KLCI while Genting Malaysia fell 15 sen to RM3.61 and wiped out 1.28 points.
There were mixed views about New York State's plan to expand the casino gambling and the impact on Genting Malaysia, which has operations there via its Resort World New York.
Analysts also said there was some selling pressure in the market ahead of the weekend and concerns about a political rally to be held on Saturday, which could have seen local institutions staying on the sidelines.
However, they said foreign funds had been consistent buyers, focusing on dividend plays like telcos and expectations of the economic recovery based on the recent data.
"Malaysia still provides dividend yield stocks," said a senior analyst.
The stronger ringgit against the US dollar had also encouraged more foreign buying, he said.
The ringgit strengthened to 3.0210 against the US dollar - the strongest since March 2012.
Among the consumer stocks, Nestle fell the most, down 32 sen to RM61.68 while BAT and Dutch Lady lost 20 sen each to RM60.90 and RM45.78.
Plantation stocks were mixed with crude palm oil third month futures down RM37 to RM2,350.
Genting Plantations fell 10 sen to RM8.85 while FGV and KL Kepong were down two sen each to RM4.58 and RM22.48. However, PPB Group rose 14 sen to RM13 while IOI Corp and Sime Darby edged up two sen each to RM5.05 and RM9.59.
Penny stocks were mostly higher in active trade, with Patimas up 4.5 sen to 14.5 sen with 245.55 million shares done. DBE rose 1.5 sen to 8.5 sen and Tiger 0.5 sen to 31.5 sen but Takaso fell 9.5 sen to 27 sen and Compugates shed 0.5 sen to eight sen.
Hong Leong Bank rose 14 sen to RM14.98, RHB Cap seven sen to RM7.90 and CIMB three sen to RM7.66. Axiata gained three sen to RM6.69 and DiGi two sen to RM5.17. UMW gained eight sen to RM12.40 ahead of its dividend of 15 sen a share going ex on Monday.
Among the key regional markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 1.4% to 10,801.57 and Taiwan's Taiex added 0.1% to 7,819.15.
However, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 0.39% to 23,264.07; Shanghai's Composite Index lost 1.78% to 2,243.00 and South Korea's Kospi shed 0.5% to 1,996.67 while Singapore's Straits Times Index lost 0.3% to 3,216.50.
US light crude oil lost two cents to US$93.80 and Brent 30 cents lower at US$111.59 while spot gold fell US$4.26 to US$1,671.10.
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