KUALA LUMPUR: Profit taking picked up pace in late trade on Monday with some selling pressure seen in Maybank, DiGi and RHB Capital while the broader market weaken despite the stronger ringgit.
At the close, the FBM KLCI was down three points or 0.16% to 1,859.58. Turnover was 2.12 billion shares valued at RM2.05bil. Losers beat gainers 639 to 250 while 277 counters were unchanged.
The ringgit firmed up to 3.5675 to the US dollar – the strongest since Feb 9 -- from the previous close of 3.5800.
Maybank fell six sen to RM9.36 and erased 0.97 of a point, RHB Cap was down 14 sen to RM7.86 and wiped out 0.63 of a point. AmBanbk fell five sen to RM6.42, but Public Bank added four sen to RM19.74, CIMB and Hong Leong Bank inched up two sen each to RM6.11 and RM14.22.
Among the insurers, Takaful was down 18 sen to RM14.82.
Crude palm oil for third-month delivery fell RM44 to RM2,110 – the lowest since early December, 2014. Palm oil exports from Malaysia rose 5.6% on-month to 904,112 tonnes in April 1-25.
Genting Plantations lost 14 sen to RM9.94, FGV and KL Kepong lost two sen each to RM2.08 and RM23.40 while IOI Corp and PPB Group were flat at RM4.40 and RM15.80.
US light crude oil fell one cent to US$57.14 but Brent added nine cents to US$65.37, supported by signs that US shale output may have started to decline and concerns that fighting in Yemen could disrupt Middle East supplies.
Reuters reported the number of active US rigs drilling for oil has fallen for a record 20 weeks in a row to the lowest since 2010, according to data from oil services firm Baker Hughes, fuelling expectations of a drop in U.S. production.
Petronas Dagangan added 30 sen to RM22.30 and Petronas Chemicals five sen to RM6.26 while Petronas Gas added four sen to RM23 but SK Petro fell five sen to RM2.80 and MISC shed five sen to RM9.30.
Among the telcos, DiGi lost six sen to RM6.19 and erased 0.81 of a point from the KLCI after net profit for its first quarter ended March 31, 2015 slipped 1.2% to RM479.21mil from RM485.15mil a year ago due to seasonally higher device sales and impact from lower margins.
Axiata fell four sen to RM6.95, Maxis two sen to RM7.13 but TM added four sen to RM7.50.
Latitude Tree lost 17 sen to RM5.94 and it was the biggest decline in recent weeks after the recent rally in its share price. Only World Group was down 15 sen to RM2.33.
Among the consumer stocks, Nestle lost 38 sen to RM75 and GAB 14 sen to RM14.66 but BAT added 54 sen to RM66.54.
Reuters reported a rally in Chinese stocks led Asian equities to seven-year highs thanks to expectations of more stimulus from Beijing with stellar earnings from a few US hi-tech giants further underpinning a broadly positive mood.
Some markets were slightly more subdued as the focus shifted to central bank meetings this week in the United States and Japan, it reported.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.18% to 19,983.32;
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 1.33% to 28,433.59;
Shanghai’s Composite Index jumped 3.04% to 4,527.40;
Taiwan’s Taiex rose 0.6% to 9,973.12;
South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.1% to 2,157.54 and
Singapore’s Straits Times Index 0.01% lower at 3,512.77.
Spot gold rose US$3.55 to US$1,182.55.