Firmer crude oil prices unable to shore up KLCI

KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips fell on Monday, the last trading day for February, despite the firmer crude oil prices as investor sentiment was impacted by the weaker key regional markets especially the tumble in China shares.

At midday, the KLCI was down 6.67 points or 0.4% to 1,656.77. Turnover was 818.86 million shares valued at RM654.22mil. Decliners beat advancers more than two to one or 513 losers to 231 gainers and 281 counters unchanged.

The ringgit weakened against the US dollar to 4.2168 from 4.2130. It firmed up against the pound sterling to 5.8478 from 5.8958 and strengthened against the Singapore dollar to 2.9933 from 3.0067.

Asian stocks retreated on Monday after a weekend meeting of G20 policymakers ended with no new coordinated action to spur global growth and as solid U.S. data revived expectation of the Federal Reserve further raising rates before year-end, Reuters said.

US light crude oil rose 23 cents to US$33.01 and Brent added 41 cents to US$35.51 with some indicators pointing to the possibility the market could be bottoming out, the wire report said.

Petronas Dagangan lost 54 sen to RM24.60, Petronas Gas 18 sen to RM22 and Petronas Chemicals one sen to RM6.77 while SapuraKencana shed three sen to RM1.92. 

Refiner Petron Malaysia was the second worst performer, down 59 sen to RM5.41 and extending the losses from last week as the interest waned after the announcement of the corporate earnings last week.

Crude palm oil for third-month delivery rose RM18 to 2,561 per tonne. Sime Darby fell 16 sen to RM7.45 and erased 2.7 points from the KLCI. PPB Group lost 10 sen to RM15.96, IOI Corp eight sen to RM4.69 while KL Kepong was flat at RM24.

Among the consumer stocks, BAT fell 64 sen to RM56 and it was the top loser for the morning session while F&N was down 18 sen to RM19.80.

Genting Bhd fell 11 sen to RM7.89, Genting Malaysia 10 sen to RM4.10, IHH Healthcare eight sen to RM6.42 while Tenaga was flat at RM13.18.

 As for telcos, Axiata rose 15 sen to RM5.95 and pushed the KLCI up 2.21 points. Digi fell three sen to RM.97 while TM and Maxis were flat at RM6.62 and RM6.23.

As for banks, Maybank rose five sen to RM8.58, CIMB added three sen to RM4.50, Puboic Bank two sen to RM18.48 but AmBank fell 16 sen to RM4.34 and RHB Cap five sen lower at RM5.30.

AirAsia X rose two sen to 25 sen with 44.65 million shares done 44 and its warrants up one sen to seven sen while AirAsia gained five sen to RM1 after the turnaround in their financial performance in the fourth quarter of FY15.

Among the key regional markets,

Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.68% to16,298.55;

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.95% to 19,179.84;

CSI 300 fell 3.02% to 2,859.10;

Shanghai’s Composite Index lost 3.39% to 2,673.36;

Shenzhen Composite tumbled 4.48% to 1,658.79;

Hang Seng China Enterprise fell 1.18% to 7,939.13;

Taiwan’s Taiex rose 0.54% to 8,411.16;

South Korea’s Kospi shed 0.1% to 1,918.26 and

Singapore’s Straits Times Index rose 0.47% to 2,661.95.

Spot gold rose US$1.58 to US$1,225.04.

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