Selling picks up pace, Axiata and Maybank weigh

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s blue chips closed lower on Friday, weighed down by selling of key stocks including Axiata and Maybank, as selling picked up pace, mirroring the weaker key regional markets.

At 5pm, the FBM KLCI was down 12.62 points or 0.76% to 1,643.90 – giving up more than half of Thursday’s days gains. Year-to-date, the KLCI is down 6.66%. Turnover was 1.74 billion shares valued at RM2.15bil. Declining stocks led gainers 498 to 335 while 342 counters were unchanged.

However, the ringgit managed to strengthen against the major currencies. It firmed up to 4.2857 against the US dollar from the previous close of 4.3130 and it was at 6.4039 to the pound from 6.4461. It was at 3.0343 to the Singapore dollar from 3.0529.

European shares fell on Friday to retreat from a one-week high reached in the previous session. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which had risen 1.3% on Thursday, fell 0.6%, while the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index also weakened 0.8%, Reuters reported.

Among the key Asian markets, Hong Kong stocks ended Friday slightly lower, as many sectors corrected after the previous session's relief rally following the long-expected US interest rate hike, the wire report said.

At Bursa Malaysia, profit taking saw Axiata falling 15 sen to RM5.99 and erasing 2.24 points from the KLCI. DiGi lost three sen to RM5.13, Maxis one sen lower at RM6.56 while Telekom was flat at RM6.52.

Among the banks, Maybank lost 13 sen to RM8.28 and wiped out 2.15 points, AFG was down 19 sen to RM3.43, AmBank nine sen to RM4.40, RHB Cap six sen to RM5.76 and CIMB five sen to RM4.55 while Public Bank shed two sen to RM18.32.

Crude palm oil for third-month delivery rose RM13 to RM2,398 per tonne. PPB Group lost eight sen to RM15.70, IOI Corp seven sen to RM4.21 and Sime Darby three sen to RM7.49.

However, KL Kepong added 12 sen to RM23.08 and Batu Kawan gained 18 sen to RM17.10.

Consumer stocks were mostly lower, with BAT down 40 sen to RM55, Ajinomoto 30 sen to RM8.70 and GAB 20 sen to RM13.32.

However, Top Glove was the top loser, down 60 sen to RM13 and Kossan shed 26 sen to RM8.94 but Supermax gained 13 sen to RM3.09.

US light crude oil edged up one cent to US$34.96 while Brent added 19 cents to US$37.25. 

Petronas Gas lost 16 sen to RM22.18, Petronas Daganagan eight sen to RM24 while Petronas Chemicals was flat at RM7. SapuraKenanca was down six se to RM1.78.

Plastic injection moulding specialist PIE Industrial surged 72 sen to a record high of RM9.52.

Chip maker MPI rose 42 sen to RM9.72 as prospects brightened for the semiconductor industry.

Comcorp surged 27 sen to 64 sen after the the company announced its third quarter ended Oct 31, 2015 results.

Among the key regional markets,

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.90% to 18,986.80;

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.53% to 21,755.56;

Shanghai’s Composite Index fell 0.03% to 3,578.96;

Taiwan’s Taiex fell 0.75% to 8,257.32;

South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.13% to1,975.32 and

Singapore’s Straits Times Index edged down 0.29% to 2,852.84.

Spot gold rose US$3.83 to US$1,054.93.

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