KLCI in the red at close but off day's low

KUALA LUMPUR: Selling pressure eased off in the late afternoon on Wednesday enabling the FBM KLCI to close off the day's low, with BAT, Maybank and IOI Corp among the biggest drags on the index.

At 5pm, the KLCI was down 2.24 points or 0.13% to 1,708.91 but off the intra-day low of 1,704. Turnover was 1.75 billion shares valued at RM2.06bil. There were 413 gainers, 385 losers and 386 counters unchanged.

The ringgit firmed up against the major currencies. It rose to 3.8668 to the US dollar from 3.8660; it was at 5.5581 to the pound sterling from 5.5654 while it was 2.8850 to the Singapore dollar from 2.8899. Against the euro, it was up at 4.3925 from 4.4040.

BAT fell the most on Wednesday, down RM1.66 to RM53.88 and erasing 0.8 of a point from the KLCI.

Maybank fell five sen to RM9.03 and wiped out 0.83 of a point,  Hong Leong Bank gained 10 sen to RM13.52, RHB Cap added six sen to RM6.25, Public Bank and CIMB two sen each to RM19.02 and RM4.87, AmBank one sen to RM4.60.

Crude palm oil for the third month rose RM36 to RM2,724 per tonne. Among the plantations, PPB Group lost eight sen to RM16.30, IOI Corp five sen to RM4.42, Sime four sen to RM7.90 while KL Kepong was flat at RM23.92.

Stocks fell around the world on Wednesday as the price of crude declined after a strike by Kuwaiti oil workers ended, Reuters said. Brent and U.S. crude oil futures prices dropped as worries about oversupply in the oil market returned to the fore.

US light crude oil was down 90 cents to US$40.18 and Brent lost 81 cents to US$43.22.

As for oil and gas stocks, Petronas Gas, Petronas Chemicals and Petronas Dagangan were flat at RM21.88, RM6.69 and RM23.76 while SK Petro shed two sen to RM1.77. Bumi Armada jumped 5.5 sen to 77.5 sen in very active trade.

CCB fell nine sen to RM3.50 despite stronger first quarter earnings. Top Glove was the worst performer among the glove makers, down 13 sen to RM5.13 as the ringgit strengthened.

AirAsia X-WA was the most active and rose 3.5 sen, the most in recent weeks, to 22.5 sen. The shares added 3.5 sen to 38.5 sen while AirAsia gained two sen to RM2.14.

Can-One rose 34 sen to RM4.40 while Kian Joo added nine sen to RM3.35.

Genting Bhd added 15 sen to RM9.14 and nudged the KLCI up nearly one point while MISC added five sen to RM8.90 and Tenaga was flat at RM14.40.
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