Risk aversion rises, KLCI dips into the red at midday

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia joined the stocks markets of Japan and Singapore to edge lower at midday on Tuesday as risk aversion rose and prompted investor to seek safe haven assets like gold.

At midday, the FBM KLCI was down 1.78 points or 0.1% to 1,743.71. Turnover was 2.12 billion shares valued at RM1.26bil. There were 409 gainers, 396 losers and 388 counters unchanged.

Reuters reported investor appetite for risk has been dulled this week by a number of factors, including an anxious wait for an upcoming meeting between US President Donald trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping and a suspected suicide bombing in St. Petersburg, Russia. 

Among the key Asian markets which were open, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.97% to 18,799.76 while South Korea's Kospi fell 0.22% to 2,162.67 and Singapore's STI lost 0.23% to 3,180.32.

The ringgit rose against the pound sterling but slipped against the US dollar, Singapore dollar and the Euro. It rose to 5.5258 against the pound from the previous close of 5.53657. However, it slipped against the US dollar to 4.4298 from 4.4278; weakened against the Singapore dollar at 3.1711 from 3.1680 and was down against the Euro at 4.7263 from 4.7245.

Among the consumer stocks, F&N fell 28 sen to RM24.36, MSM 14 sen lower at RM4.76 while BAT was down 12 sen to RM46.02 and Ajinomoto 10 sen lower at RM15.90.

Semicon and IT related stocks were mixed. KESM lost 10 sen to RM12.10 and Unisem nine sen lower at RM3.09 but MPI added 44 sen to RM11.82. GHL Systems jumped 34 sen to RM1.48. Censof added 3.5 sen to 36 sen and the warrants two sen higher at 16.5 sen.

US light crude oil and Brent were unchanged at US$50.24 and US$53.12. Petronas Dagangan added eight sen to RM23.98 and Petronas Chemicals five sen higher at RM7.69 while Petronas Gas was flat at RM19.82.

Poultry company CAB Cakaran continued to attract strong trading interest, up 22 sen to RM2.58 and the warrants surged 19 sen to RM2.03.

As for banks, Hong Leong Bank fell 12 sen to RM13.64, CIMB and Public Bank two sen lower at RM5.57 and RM19.94, Maybank one sen lower at RM8.99 but RHB Bank added two sen to RM5.23.

Genting Malaysia was down 10 sen to RM5.46 and erased 0.97 of a point from the KLCI and Genting Bhd lost four sen to RM9.57. Tenaga shed two sen to RM13.74.

Eco World International's warrants were the most active with 120 million units done, up nine sen to 39.5 sen while the shares shed one sen to RM1.27. Its retail offer price was RM1.20.

Crude palm oil for third month delivery fell RM18 to RM2,644 per tonne. IOI Corp and Sime Darby rose two sen each to RM4.64 and RM9.31, PPB Group flat at RM16.70 while KL Kepong lost four sen to RM24.66.

Spot gold rose US$2.57 to US$1,256.07 per troy ounce.
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