Broader market weakens as KLCI slips at midday (Update)

KUALA LUMPUR: RHB Capital, Petronas Chemicals and Maxis topped the losers’ list at the midday break on Friday on extended selling pressure as the broader market continued to weaken.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was down 2.39 points or 0.14% to 1,720.05. Turnover was 822.54 million shares valued at RM632.74mil. Losers beat gainers 425 to 281 while 284 counters were unchanged.

The ringgit weakened to a fresh 16-year low of 3.8145 in intra-morning trade before settling at 3.8127 to the US dollar at midday. However, this was weaker from the previous day’s close of 3.8045.

Reuters reported China stocks extended their recovery on Friday morning, with the Shanghai market heading for its seventh-day gain -- its longest winning streak in two months -- as investors increased leveraged bets despite disappointing July factory activity data.

But Hong Kong stocks fell, following sluggish overseas markets, and amid investor concerns over China's economy.

At Bursa Malaysia, Petronas Chemicals fell 11 sen to RM6.33 and erased 1.49 points from the KLCI. Petronas Gas lost two sen to RM21.62.

US light crude oil rose 22 cents to US$48.67 and Brent added 14 cents to US$55.41.

Among the banks, RHB Capital fell 20 sen to RM7.34, Hong Leong Bank lost two sen to RM13.64, CIMB Group was flat at RM5.50 but Public Bank rose two sen to RM19.04 and Maybank added three sen to RM9.22.

As for telcos, Maxis was down nine sen to RM6.50 and wiped out 1.15 points from the KLCI, TM fell two sen to RM6.67, Axiata was flat at RM6.37 and DiGi rose three sen to RM5.34. Time dotCom lost nine sen to RM6.81.

Crude palm oil for third-month delivery slipped RM5 to RM2,184 per tonne. PPB Group added 18 sen to RM15.22, Sime Darby gained to RM8.46 but IOI Corp lost two sen to RM4.23 and Far East was down 14 sen to RM8.15.

Among the gainers were medium cap stocks like PIE, up 37 sen to RM6.30 while Lysaght and Latitude Tree gained 29 sen each to RM4.19 and RM7.04.

Taliworks added 18 sen to RM3.69 as investors were positive about its share split and free warrants but there could be some profit taking later in the day due to excessive run-up and cautious market ahead of the weekend.

Among the key regional markets,

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.62% to 20,554.74;

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.94% to 25,161.26;

CSI 300 rose 0.88% to 4,288.11;

Shanghai’s Composite Index advanced 1.07% to 4,167.94;

Shenzen Composite rose 1.46% to 2,386.89;

Hang Seng China Enterprise fell 1.06% to 11,708.98;

Taiwan’s Taiex was down 0.35% to 8,760.73;

South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.87% to 2,047.17; and

Singapore’s Straits Times Index shed 0.07% to 3,353.93.

Spot gold fell US$6.71 to US$1,083.99.

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