Late selling of Petronas Gas, Maybank pushes KLCI into the red

KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips ended a volatile Wednesday deeper in the red as very late selling pressure by foreign funds erased the last-gasp buying support with Petronas Gas and Maybank weighing on the FBM KLCI.

At 5pm, the KLCI was down 6.74 points or 0.38% to 1,744.20. Turnover fell to 2.60 billion shares valued at RM2.14bil. There were 342 gainers, 443 losers and 464 counters unchanged.

Key Asian markets were mixed. The US dollar slipped against most major currencies on Wednesday, weighed down by worries over possible delays to Donald Trump's tax reform plan and evidence of the US president's waning popularity, Reuters reported. 

Earlier, Bloomberg quoted National Australia Bank as saying Thailand and Malaysia are the riskiest emerging markets in Asia as the US Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates.

The ringgit edged up 0.01% to 4.2292 against the US dollar and gained 0.08% to 5.5543 to the pound sterling. It advanced 0.22% to the euro at 4.7037 but slipped versus the Singapore dollar to 3.1010.

US light crude oil came off the recent highs to fall 16 cents to US$57.04 and Brent slipped five cents to US$63.64.

Petronas Gas fell 58 sen and erased 1.95 points from the KLCI while Petronas Dagangan lost 72 sen to wipe put 1.21 point but the selling was somewhat offset by buying of Petronas Chemicals, which jumped 14 sen to RM7.47 and nudged the index up 1.90 points.

Among the banks, Maybank fell 10 sen to RM1.83 and erased 1.83 points while CIMB lost seven sen to RM6.18. HLFG lost 30 sen to RM16.58, RHB Bank three sen to RM4.92, Public Bank and Hong Leong Bank two sen lower to RM20.46 and RM15.98 but AmBank rose three sen to RM4.34.

Genting came under pressure as Genting Malaysia fell 12 sen to RM5.18 and Genting Bhd 18 sen lower at RM9.17. However, power giant Tenaga rose six sen to RM14.90. 

Crude palm oil for third month delivery rose RM19 to RM2,804 per tonne, tracking the gains in soy.

TAHPS lost 24 sen to RM6.71, IOI Corp fell five sen to RM4.46 while KL Kepong, PPB Group and Sime Darby were flat at RM24.68, RM16.78 and RM9.06 respectively.

Among the telcos, Digi fell six sen to RM4.89, Telekom two sen lower at RM6.16, Maxis shed one sen to RM6.01 but Axiata edged up one sen to RM5.45.

Red Ideas, which was listed on the LEAP Market, ended up 8.5 sen to 43.5 sen.

MUI was the second most active with 105 million shares done, up 2.5 sen to 24.5 sen as traders expect some positive corporate news.

As for consumer stocks, BAT rose RM1.20 to RM38.36, Nestle added 50 sen to RM88.50, Dutch Lady 48 sen tp RM60 and Heineken 28 sen to RM18.92 but F&N lost four sen to RM25.40.