KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s blue chips index fell below the key 1,800 level at the close of trade on Wednesday as investor sentiment was impacted by heavy selling of Tenaga Nasional on news the government would reduce tariffs by March 1.
At 5pm, the FBM KLCI was down 12.17 points or 0.67% to 1,798.75 – but off the late low of 1,790.80 as selling of Tenaga abated somewhat.
Turnover was 2.18 billion shares valued at RM2.36bil. Declining stocks beat advancers 508 to 321 while 313 counters were unchanged.
Tenaga fell to a low of RM13.22 in a sharp reaction to the government’s announcement that the tariffs for Peninsular Malaysia would be reduced by 2.25 sen per unit from March 1 to June 30 following the decline in the feedstock.
The government’s subsidy was expected to be around RM260mil a year.
However, some funds jumped in to pick up the power giant shares and this enabled it to close off the day’s worst. It fell 46 sen to RM14.40 with 28.99 million shares done at prices ranging from RM13.22 to RM14.94.
The fall in Tenaga’s share price erased 4.49 points from the KLCI.
Petronas Dagangan was the top loser, down 58 sen to RM18.10 and Petronas Gas lost 30 sen to RM21.78 but Petronas Chemicals edged u two sen to RM5.24. SapurakKencana Petroleum lost nine sen to RM2.84.
However, US crude oil prices rose 54 cents to US$50.56 and Brent added 39 cents to US$56.82.
Banks were mixed, with Public Bank down 22 sen to RM18.56 and erased 1.47 points. Hong Leong Bank shed four sen to RM14.28 but Maybank was flat at RM9.10, CIMB gained four sen to RM5.72 and AmBank seven sen higher at RM6.50.
Among the telcos, DiGi lost 11 sen to RM6.32, Maxis seven sen to RM6.88, TM six sen to RM6.93 and Axiata three sen to RM7.07.
Crude palm oil for third month delivery fell RM15 to RM2,285.
FGV rose 14 sen to RM2.50 on fund buying, IOI Corp added one sen to RM4.77 but KL Kepong and PPB Group were flat at RM22.50 and RM14.46.
Among the smaller capitalised oil and gas penny stocks, Perisai gave up half of its previous day’s gains, shedding 4.5 sen to 59 sen. KNM lost four sen to 66 sen and Sumatec
one sen to 22 sen.
The ringgit weakened to 3.5993 from the previous day’s close of 3.5792.
Among the key regional markets,
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.87%to 24,315.02;
Shanghai’s Composite Index rose 0.51% to 3,157.70;
Taiwan’s Taiex rose 0.73% to 9,462.22.
South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.51% to 1,945.22;
Singapore’s Straits Times Index rose 0.22% to 3,441.92.
Spot gold jumped US$3.84 to US$1,237.38.