Maxis, Axiata main drags as KLCI slides 18pts

KUALA LUMPUR: Profit taking on FBM KLCI stocks sent the index down nearly 18 points at the midday break on Tuesday on selling of Maxis and Axiata, as the last-minute surge the previous day was unsustainable.

At 12.30pm, the KLCI was down 18.29 points or 1.05% to 1,725.90. Turnover was 674.87 million shares valued at RM558.89mil. Declining stocks beat advancers 422 to 198 while 316 counters were unchanged.

The ringgit fell 3.8635 to the US dollar from the previous day’s 3.8517 while the crude palm oil for third month delivery neared the critical RM2,000 a tonne level. At midday, it was down RM22 to RM2,032 per tonne on expectations of higher output.

Reuters reported Asian shares cautiously nudged into positive territory on Tuesday after downbeat economic data pressured Wall Street ahead of a key US jobs report that could provide important clues to the timing of the Federal Reserve's interest rate increase.

Crude oil prices firmed after plunging overnight, with US crude adding about 0.7% to US$45.49 a barrel. Brent gained 0.4% to US$49.70 after skidding 5% to six-month lows

At Bursa Malaysia. Maxis fell 55 sen to RM6.65 and erased 6.95 points from the KLCI and Axiata lost 37 sen to RM6.48 and wiping out 5.42 points. DiGi lost nine sen to RM5.41 and TM one sen lower at RM6.59.

UMW was the top loser on Bursa Malaysia, down 68 sen to RM10.04. Westports fell 16 sen to RM4.13.

Among the plantations, PPB Group lost 40 sen to RM15.22, KL Kepong 32 sen to RM21.80 and TAHPS 16 sen lower to RM7.70 while Genting Plantations was down 14 sen to RM10.10 and IOI Corp five sen to RM4.22.

Westports gave up its Monday gains, shedding 15 sen to RM4.13. Tenaga was down 14 sen to RM12.10.

Among the banks, CIMB fell four sen to RM5.28, Hong Leong Bank two sen to RM13.56 but Public Bank gained six sen to RM19.12 and Maybank edged up one sen to RM9.19.

Among the oil and gas stocks, Petronas Gas added 10 sen to RM22.50 and Petronas Daganagan six sen to RM21.26 but Petronas Chemicals lost four sen to RM6.45 and SK Petero three sen to RM2.41.

The world’s biggest glove maker, Top Glove rose 22 sen to RM7.92 as it benefits from the weaker ringgit as it exports all its products.

Consumer stocks were higher with F&N up 18 sen to RM18.48 and Nestle 14 sen to RM72.14.

Among the key regional markets,

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.2% to 20,506.54;

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index lost 0.13% to 24,378.83;

Shanghai’s Composite Index rose 1.34% to 3,671.49;

Taiwan’s Taiex fell 0.62% to 8,471.53;

South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.44% to 2,017.53; and

Singapore’s Straits Times Index fell 0.16% to 3,187.61.

Spot gold fell US$2.09 to US$1,084.70.

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