KUALA LUMPUR: Trading volume on Bursa Malaysia surged past the three billion shares mark on buying of penny stocks but the FBM KLCI slumped nearly four points on selling of telcos and Genting shares.
At 5pm, the KLCI was down 3.92 points or 0.22% to 1,757.21. Turnover surged to 3.18 billion shares valued at RM2.31bil. There were 396 gainers, 384 losers and 479 counters unchanged.
The market saw several corporate news including George Kent while Johan Holdings and Dataprep received takeover offers.
The ringgit rose against the US dollar, up 0.04% to 4.2177 and edged up 0.02% to the pound sterling at 5.5654 and gained 0.06% to the Singapore dollar at 3.1076. It fell 0.24% to the euro at 4.9866.
Hong Kong stocks fell on Wednesday, pressured by a sharp reversal in property shares after the city's chief executive unveiled a mix of housing and tax relief policies that disappointed some investors, Reuters reported.
However, Japan's Nikkei share index closed at its highest in 21 years on Wednesday, with gains mainly led by defensive shares, though exporters benefited from solid global growth.
Japan's second biggest steelmaker Kobe Steel Ltd sank 18%, following its 22% plunge the previous day, after the company's shock revelation on Sunday that it fabricated data on aluminum and copper products shipped to about 200 companies.
At Bursa, Digi fell 10 sen to RM4.88 and erased 1.32 points from the KLCI. Bloomberg reported the telco likely continued to lose service revenue in 3Q as prepaid mobile showed no signs of recovery.
Digi's traditional IDD service continues to shrink, even though its increasing internet product offerings may have narrowed a decline in average revenue per user.
Telekom lost seven sen to RM6.15, Maxis five sen lower at RM5.85 and Axiata fell three sen to RM5.29.
fell 13 sen to RM9.50 and Genting Malaysia was down nine sen to RM5.27 and erasing 1.8 points from the KLCI. Tenaga lost four sen to RM14.20.
US light crude oil rose 44 cents to US$51.36 and Brent gained 37 cents to US$56.98. Despite the recovery in oil, Petronas Gas fell eight sen to RM18.50 and Petronas Chemical two sen to RM7.32 while Petronas Dagangan added two sen to RM24.30.
George Kent jumped 12 sen to RM3.23 after it teamed up with the Siemens Group to bid for the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) tender, the first group to do so for the multi-billion ringgit rail project.
However, Johan fell 0.5 sen to 26 sen after its chairman and chief executive officer Tan Sri Tan Kay Hock, who owns 48.17% stake, has launched a mandatory takeover offer at 25 sen a share.
Dataprep fell 5.5 sen to 33.5 sen as investor sentiment was dampened after the founder of the diversified Widad Business Group, Tan Sri Muhammad Ikmal Opat Abdullah launched a takeover of IT services company Dataprep Holdings Bhd
at a sharply lower offer price of 16 sen cash a share.
Among the banks, RHB Bank rose three sen to RM5.11, AmBank and Hong Leong Bank two sen each to RM4.45 and RM15.92, Maybank one sen to RM9.55, Public Bank was flat at RM20.56.
SAM Engineering fell the most, down 13 sen to RM7.26, Lii Hen lost nine sen to RM3.96 while Weida and Genetec shed eight sen each to RM2.11 and RM1.49.
Key Asic was the most active, jumping 10.5 sen to 27 sen with 248.7 million shares done.
MRCB-OR ended 3.5 sen to 16 sen on the final trading day with 83 million units done.
Crude palm oil for third month delivery fell RM8 to RM2,686 per tonne. Sime Darby fell five sen to RM9.09, KL Kepong eight sen to RM24.70, IOI Cor one sen to RM4.51 while PPB Group was flat at RM16.78.