KLCI unable to break past key 1,700 barrier

KUALA LUMPUR: Late selling pressure pushed the FBM KLCI below the critical 1,700 level on Thursday amid the mixed broader market, as gains by heavyweight Sime Darby were offset by selling of Maybank and CIMB.

At 5pm, the KLCI was up 0.93 of a point or 0.05% to 1,699.92, erasing the earlier gains which saw the 30-stock index climbing to an intra-day high of 1,706.

Turnover was 1.61 billion shares valued at RM1.58bil. There were 383 gainers, 401 losers and 354 counters unchanged.

Market sentiment was dented by the fall in China shares after a report that banks were trying to get to grips with their financial exposure to the stock market slump in June added to a pall of uncertainty for investors.

Reuters reported concerns about the level of borrowing to fund market positions in China have been magnified by the grey market - a loosely regulated network of state-owned commercial banks, trust companies, fund managers, and grassroots finance firms.

On the local front, the ringgit weakened to 3.8190 to the US dollar compared with the previous close of 3.8103.

At Bursa Malaysia, consumer stocks were among the top gainers, with Nestle up 52 sen to RM72.52, BAT added 40 sen to RM66 while F&N added 20 sen to RM18.10.

Crude palm oil for third-month delivery rose RM2 to RM2,113 per tonne. Sime Darby rose 18 sen to RM8.60 and pushed the KLCI up 1.9 points.

Genting Plantations rose 23 sen to RM9.99, but PPB Group fell 10 sen to RM15.02, IOI Corp five sen to RM4.18 and KL Kepong four sen to RM21.66. 

Among the other KLCI stocks, Bursa Malaysia added 18 sen to RM8.09 and Westports, which will announce its second quarter results on Friday, rose 18 sen to RM4.18.

The KLCI was dragged down by losses in Maybank and CIMB, which erased nearly 2.5 points. Maybank fell seven sen to RM8.99 and CIMB nine sen lower at RM5.20.

Ambank lost three sen to RM5.56. However, HLFG rose 14 sen to RM15.32 and Hong Leong Bank six sen to RM13.56, Public Bank added four sen to RM18.88 and RHB Cap two sen to RM7.40.

US light crude oil rose five cents to US$48.84 and Brent 32 cents higher to US$53.70. Petronas Gas added 10 sen to RM21.72, Petronas Dagangan two sen higher at RM20.66 and Petronas Chemicals one sen to RM6.39 while SKPetro added seven sen to RM2.40.

As for telcos, Maxis gained four sen to RM6.54, DiGi one sen to RM5.39 but TM lost six sen to RM6.49 and Axiata two sen to RM6.28.

Among the key regional markets,

Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 1.08% to 20,522.83;

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.49% to 24,497.98;

Shanghai’s Composite Index fell 2.2% to 3,705.77;

Taiwan’s Taiex rose 1.03% to 8,651.49;

South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.91% to 2,019.03 and

Singapore’s Straits Times Index lost 1.05% to 3,249.52.

Spot gold was down US$10.55 to US$1,086.30.
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