Petronas Chemicals weighs on KLCI, key Asian markets down

KUALA LUMPUR: Petronas Chemicals dragged the FBM KLCI further into the red at the close on Tuesday, in tandem with the cautious key Asian markets, but the ringgit managed to firm up slightly against the US dollar.

At 5pm, the KLCI was down 4.75 points or 0.28% to 1,712.30. Turnover was 1.69 billion shares valued at RM1.73bil. There were 314 gainers, 466 losers and 301 counters unchanged.

European shares steadied on Tuesday, recouping some of the previous session's decline, before a euro zone summit on the Greek debt crisis later in the day, Reuters reported.

Hong Kong stocks fell on Tuesday, dragged down by a slumping China market, as well as bearish global markets amid fears that the Greek crisis could deepen.

Meanwhile, the ringgit firmed up against the US dollar at 5pm to 3.8073 from the previous day’s close of 3.8092 – the weakest in 16 years.

BIMB Securities Research said foreign funds had been reducing their shareholdings as a time when the current valuation is “quite attractive”. While the research house expects foreign funds to return, some factors need to be extricated first. 

“Nonetheless we are maintaining our 2015 target for the FBM KLCI at 1,830 based on 6.2% earnings growth and 16.5 times PE as most of the regional markets are now trending at between 13 times to 15 times below that of the US and European counterparts currently estimated at around 17 times to 18 times. 

“The exodus of foreign funds from the local bourse had been quite intense this year with the amount so far touching RM9.0bil way surpassing last year's figure of RM6.9bil. 

“However one heartening fact is that the balance of such funds has shrunk based on the net inflows since 2011, is now hovering at around RM3.5bil which could be easily absorbed by the local institutions,” said BIMB Research.

 Petronas Chemicals wiped out 4.49 points from the KLCI when it fell 33 sen to RM6.07. Petronas Dagangan was eight sen lower at RM20.58, Petronas Gas lost two sen to RM21.40.

US light crude oil rose 69 cents to US$53.33 and Brent gained 96 cents to US$57.50.

Among the banks, AmBank fell the most, down 16 sen to RM5.70. Public Bank lost eight sen to RM18.72, CIMB was flat at RM5.45 and Hong Leong Bank gained eight sen to RM13.50.

UMW lost 22 sen to RM10.02 and MAHB gave up 15 sen to RM6.15 while Genting Bhd shed 10 sen to RM8.03. However, MISC added 20 sen to RM8.10 and nudged the KLCI up 1.52 points.  Tenaga was flat at RM12.62.

Crude palm oil for third month delivery fell RM9 to RM2,226 per tonne.  PPB Group rose 12 sen to RM15.10, KL Kepong added four sen to RM22.50, IOI Corp four sen to RM4.24 but Sime shed four sen to RM8.53. However, United Plantations added 52 sen to RM27.18.

Among the telcos, DiGi and Maxis rose six sen each to RM5.55 and RM6.32, Axiata gained one sen to RM6.38 while Telekom Malaysia fell one sen to RM6.70.

Pharmaniaga’s recent run-up hit a speed bump as investors took profit and saw its share price close down 14 sen to RM6.90.

Among the consumer stocks, BAT rose 68 sen to RM63.79. 

SAM Engineering continued to attract strong buying interest, advancing 31 sen to RM5.63.

Top Glove, which benefits from a stronger US dollar vis a vis the ringgit due to its strong export markets, added 26 sen to RM6.95.

Time dotCom rallied 20 sen to RM7.10 as investor interest resumed after declaring its special divided though analysts raised concerns that it should focus on mergers and acquisitions.

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