Blue chips slump, Lotte Chemical, Public Bank in focus

KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips ended July on a softer note on Monday as the sharp fall in recently-listed Lotte Chemical Titan's earnings sparked selling pressure on the counter while late selling pushed banking stocks lower.

At 5pm, the FBM KLCI was down 7.05 points or 0.4% to 1,760.03. Turnover rose to 1.94 billion shares valued at RM2.58bil, the highest in recent weeks of lacklustre performance.  

The broader market was weaker with decliners beating advancers nearly two to one or 534 losers to 300 gainers and 409 counters unchanged.

Most Southeast Asian stock markets ended Monday lower as sentiment turned cautious ahead of a raft of economic data this week, but Vietnam bucked the trend and closed at its highest in over nine years as realty and financials firmed up, Reuters reported.

The ringgit was unchanged against the US dollar at 4.2813 while the local unit fell 0.14% to the pound sterling at 5.6081 and lost 0.2% to the Singapore dollar at 5.1542 and weakened 0.22% to the euro at 5.0210.

Lotte Chemical Titan fell as much as 24% to a low of RM4.65. It close down RM1.43 to RM4.70 with 32.37 million shares done.  Its call warrants CE tumbled 26 sen to 13.5 sen and CD lost 20 sen to 6.5 sen.

At Bursa, Lotte Chemical reported its earnings fell 71.8% to RM113.61mil from the RM404.03mil a year ago. Its revenue declined 11.2% to RM1.77bil from RM1.99bil.

Public Bank fell 26 sen to RM20.28 with 11.47 million shares done, wiping out 1.66 points from the KLCI. Maybank and Hong Leong Bank fell 10 sen each to RM9.54 and RM15.70, CIMB nine sen lower at RM6.55. RHB Bank fell three sen to RM5 but AmBank added one sen to RM4.95.

LPI, which is a major shareholder of Public Bank, fell 16 sen to RM17.96. Other insurer which fell were MNRB, down 19 sen to RM2.51 and Allianz 16 sen down to RM14.50.

Oil rose on Monday, putting July on track to become the strongest month this year, as news of a producers' technical meeting next week added to bullish sentiment driven by the threat of US sanctions against Opec member Venezuela. 

US light crude rose four cents to US$49.75 and Brent added seven cents to US$52.59.  Petronas Gas fell 22 sen to RM18.75, Petronas Dagangan was down eight sen to RM23.78 while Petronas Chemicals was flat at RM6.95.

The refiners earlier surged to record highs before ending off the intra-day highs. Hengyuan rose 96 sen to RM7.86 and Petrona 15 sen higher at RM9.

As for telcos, Axiata, and Digi were flat at RM4.63 ad RM4.80 while Maxis and Telekom gained three sen each to RM5.65 and RM6.36.

Power giant Tenga closed down four sen to RM14.12, Genting Malaysia edged upo one sen to RM6 and Genting eight sen higher at RM9.72. 

Crude palm oil for third month rose RM25 to RM2,680 per tonne.KL Kepong rose 10 sen to RM24.80, PPB Group added two sen to RM16.86 while Sime Darby fell five sen to RM9.45. IOI Corp was flat at RM4.47.

Among the key regional markets,

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.17% to 19,925.18;

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 1.28% to 27,323.99;

CSI 300 gained 0.43% to 3,737.87;

Shanghai’s Composite Index gained 0.61% to 3,273.03;

Hang Seng China Enterprise climbed 0.67% to 10,827.84;

Taiwan’s Taiex edged up 0.04% to 10,427.33;

South Korea’s Kospi climbed 0.07% to 2,402.71;

Singapore’s Straits Times Index dipped 0.04% to 3,329.52.

Spot gold fell US$2.20 to US$1,267 per tonne.


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