KLCI ends May down nearly 4% on weak investor sentiment

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s blue chips capped the trading month of May on a weak note, with the FBM KLCI down 3.89% from end-April as investor sentiment turned bearish due to domestic issues and external factors.

At 5pm, the FBM KLCI was down 8.04 points or 0.46% to 1,747.5  -- the lowest since Jan 16. 

This was a fall of 70.75 points from end-April’s 1,818.27. Year-to-date, the KLCI is down 0.78% and it is worst performing market among the key Asian markets.

Turnover was 2.23 billion shares valued at RM3.69bil. There were 370 gainers, 424 losers and 310 stocks unchanged.

The ringgit weakened against the US dollar to 3.6675 at 5pm, down from 3.6417 the previous day. This was the weakest since April 15.

Despite the recovery in the crude oil price, they were insufficient to provide the much needed boost to the market. US light crude oil rose 70 cents to US$58.38 and Brent added 63 cents to US$63.21.

Petronas Dagangan lost 10 sen to RM19.90 while Petronas gas shed four sen to RM21.90 and Petronas Chemicals was flat at RM6.26. SKPetro gained two sen to RM2.63. Bumi Armada gained four sen to RM1.27.

Public Bank was the main drag on the KLCI, erasing 3.07 points when it fell 46 sen to RM18.50 – the biggest decline in recent months.  This could be a knee-jerk reaction to the news about the death of its co-chairman, Tan Sri Thong Yaw Hon.

Maybank fell eight sen to RM9.03 and erased 1.31 points from the KLCI. AmBank fell four sen to RM6.30.

RHB Capital, which announced a stronger set of earnings, jumped 25 sen to RM7.70. Hong Leong Bank added four sen to RM13.66 and CIMB one sen higher to RM5.67.

Crude palm oil for third-month delivery rose RM6 to RM2,214 per tonne. PPB Group added 18 sen to RM15.26, FGV rose four sen to RM1.97 but KL Kepong lost 30 sen to RM20.70 and IOI Corp six sen to RM3.99.

Heavyweight Sime Darby fell 17 sen to RM8.32.and erased 1.81 points from the KLCI.

Consumer stocks were among the top losers, led by BAT which fell 98 sen to RM62, Carlsberg lost 40 sen to RM12.20 and Nestle 26 sen to RM71.

K-One Technology skidded 14.5 sen to 30.5 sen in very active trade.

Other gainers were Microlink, charging 26 sen to RM1.70 while SAM Engineering and Super Enterprise added 25 sen each to RM4 and RM3. UMW and Ta Ann advanced 18 sen each to RM10.72 and RM3.99.

Among the key regional markets,

Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.06% to 20,563.15;

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.11% to 27,424.19;

Shanghai’s Composite Index fell 0.18% to 4,611.75;

Taiwan’s Taiex fell 0.12% to 9,701.07;

South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.19% to 2,114.80 and

Singapore’s Straits Times Index fell 0.99% to 3,383.92.

Spot gold rose 65 cents to US$1,189.05.
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