Banks drag KLCI into the red (Update)

KUALA LUMPUR: Banks fell in Monday's morning session in a knee-jerk reaction to Bank Negara's tighter lending rules, with Public Bank, AmBank and Maybank among the major decliners.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI fell 5.69 points to 1,766.58. Turnover was 797.15 million shares valued at RM627.87mil. There were 232 gainers, 384 losers and 266 counters unchanged.

Public Bank fell 10 sen to RM16.92 and erased one point from the KLCI while AmBank fell 14 sen to RM7.51 and wiped out 0.87 of a point. Maybank lost four sen to RM10.34, erasing 0.61 of a point.

RHB Cap and Hong Leong Bank were down 14 sen to RM8.36 and RM13.84. HLFG and AFG fell 16 sen each to RM14.52 and RM5.57.

Aeon Credit lost 16 sen to RM16.84 while MBSB was down 13 sen to RM3.06.

MIDF Equities Research said foreign funds were net sellers of Malaysian equities totaling RM131.90mil but this was a decline from RM335.1mil in the week ended May 31.

It highlighted that in the last six weeks, RM4.2bil of foreign money had left the Malaysian equity market. This was 22% of the RM18.8b that had entered the country in 2013, before the exodus began in late May.

Nestle fell the most, down 48 sen to RM68.50 while BAT and GAB lost 16 sen each to RM58.52 and RM18.50.

Reuters reported Asian shares tumbled on Monday as strong U.S. jobs growth reinforced the likelihood that the Federal Reserve will roll back its stimulus in coming months, sending the dollar to a three-year high against a basket of major currencies.

Chinese stocks and regional sentiment were hurt by Beijing's plan to choke off credit to force consolidation in industries plagued by overcapacity as it seeks to end the economy's reliance on investment funded by cheap debt.

Eastland jumped 26 sen to RM1.10, extending its gains from Friday. Deleum was the top gainer on a news report it had secured a RM300mil contract from Petronas Carigali for slickline services and could be awarded another RM400m in contracts from ExxonMobil and Newfield.

Crude palm oil for third-month futures fell RM6 to RM2,379. The ringgit weakened to 3.2130 against the US dollar, the weakest since June 25.

Among the key regional markets:

Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.27% to 14,271.09;

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 1.87% to 20,463.80;

Shanghai's Composite Index fell 1.61% to 1,974.82;

Taiwan's Taiex fell 1.32% to 7,896.05;

South Korea's Kospi fell 0.88% to 1,817.21 and

Singapore's Straits Times Index fell 0.57% to 3,151.66.

US light crude oil rose 50 cents to US$103.72 and Brent 12 cents higher at US$107.84.

Spot gold fell US$2.79 to US$1,220.35.

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