KL market finishes August on a weak note


  • Business
  • Saturday, 30 Aug 2003

By JAGDEV SINGH SIDHU

STOCKS on the KLSE ended August on a weak note, with the Composite Index (CI) dropping 0.4% to 743 yesterday ahead of the long Merdeka weekend but up 3% for the entire month following the market's breakout from a consolidation period at the end of July. 

Second board stocks were hardest hit yesterday, and the index was the least performing of the exchange's main indices for the month, rising just slightly more than 2%. 

The Mesdaq market sizzled in August, rising a staggering 36%, with counters on the KLSE's newest index dominating the most actively traded list. 

“There was some profit-taking ahead of the weekend, but I am still bullish,'' said the head of research at a local stockbroking house. 

The KLSE's bullish undertones were laid down by a strong set of results from the just completed reporting season, with more companies beating expectations during the second quarter, the research head said. 

Some of the KLSE's biggest companies, such as Malaysia International Shipping Corp Bhd, Commerce Asset-Holding Bhd and Malayan Banking Bhd, delivered not only to expectations but also showed solid growth year-on-year. 

Cementing the market's bullish tone was the better-than-expected second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 4.4%, which showed the economy had withstood the effects of the Iraq war and SARS outbreak well. 

Analysts said the stock market would rely less on leads from earnings news towards next week, as the upcoming Budget 2004 might lift expectations. 

The three stocks that went limit-down during afternoon trade on Thursday – Kimble Corp Bhd, Emivest Bhd and Kai Peng Bhd – suffered the same fate again yesterday. 

Emivest, which went on a roller-coaster ride in intra-day trading, closed 4 sen down at RM2.62 after touching a high of RM3.18 and a low of RM2.23. 

Kimble and Kai Peng were not so fortunate as their share prices took another beating. Kimble, which closed down RM1.03 at RM2.79, and Kai Peng, which lost 52 sen to RM1.56, have lost nearly half their value in the past two days. 

All three companies told the KLSE yesterday there was no material reason for the volatile movement in their share prices.  

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