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Published: Friday January 18, 2013 MYT 1:21:00 PM
By Joseph Chin
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's blue chips fell at midday on Friday, dragged down by losses in heavyweight Sime Darby and selected banks, as investors took profit ahead of the weekend.
At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was down 3.18 points or 0.19% to 1,677.91. Turnover was 584.05 million shares valued at RM645.09mil. There were 293 gainers, 305 losers and 321 counters unchanged.
Lack of buying support from local funds also saw index-linked stocks retracing as they stayed on the sidelines while foreign funds have been net buyers since the start of 2013.
The local bourse was the only one in the red when compared with the key regional markets.
Reuters reported Asian shares advanced on Friday as encouraging Chinese data confirmed a recovery was on track in the world's second largest economy, cementing positive sentiment after global equities rose overnight on firm U.S. labor and housing market reports.
Among the key regional markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 jumped 2.47% to 10,871.72; Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index added 0.75% to 23,514.10; Shanghai's Composite Index gained 0.56% to 2,297.69 and Taiwan's Taiex climbed 1.13% to 7,702.64 while South Korea's Kospi was 0.22% higher at 1,978.52 and Singapore's Straits Times Index edged up 0.36% to 3,206.58.
The ringgit recovered against the US dollar to 3.0113 from the previous close of 3.0155.
Crude palm oil for third-month futures rose RM26 to RM2,405 after falling on Thursday.
Sime Darby fell six sen to RM9.46 and erased 0.83 of a point of the KLCI whuile PPB Group lost 10 sen to RM13 but SOP rose 12 sen to RM5.77, KL Kepong gained six sen to RM21.92 and IOI one sen to RM5.
Among the banks, HL Bank fell six sen to RM14.74, Public Bank and AMMB four sen each to RM16.14 and RM6.55 while Maybank shed three sen to RM8.99 and CIMB two sen to RM2.27. However, HLFG rose 12 sen to RM14.42 and HL Cap unchanged at RM1.79.
KrisAssets Bhd fell 5.5 sen to 12 sen with 56.93 million shares, but off the low of 10 sen, after the company reminded investors it would not maintain the listing status.
Patimas was the most active with 59.62 million shares done, inching up 0.5 sen to 14.5 sen.
Among the gainers were Panasonic, up 28 sen to RM20.58, HDBS 18 sen to RM3.22 while Pos added 10 sen to RM3.60 and IJM Land eight sen higher at RM2.22.
Bright Packaging staged a rebound, adding 13 sen to RM1.78 after the recent selling due to the shareholders-board tussle.
US light crude oil was flat at US$95.49 and Brent three sen higher at US$111.13.
Spot gold rose US$1.26 to US$1,688.90.
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