KUALA LUMPUR: Foreign funds stepped up their selling pressure on Bursa Malaysia and pushed the FBM KLCI into the red on Thursday with KL Kepong, Maxis and Public Bank among the blue chips affected.
At 5pm, the KLCI was down 3.82 points or 0.21% to 1,854.44 in late selling. Turnover was 3.33 billion shares valued at RM3.78bil. The broader market weakened as decliners led advancers 570 to 438 and 333 counters unchanged.
Foreign funds continued to reduce their shareholdings, with net selling at RM284.4mil but local institutions were net buyers at RM240.9mil and retail investors at RM143.5mil.
The new government's move to abolish the Goods and Services Tax by reducing it to zero had caused concern among credit agencies on how the government could narrow the fiscal deficit.
Moody's Investors Service said there should be other measures to help recover the loss from the revenue from the GST.
However, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Malaysia should not be worried over any potential downgrade in credit rating due to implementation of the zero-rated GST, as the country is set to profit from the higher petroleum price and lower government expenditure.
Meanwhile, the continued fallout from the sell-off in several counters such as MyEG Services and George Kent also caused concerns about other stocks linked to the previous government administration.
George Kent tumbled 43 sen to RM1.51 with 100 million shares done while MyEG skidded 36.5 sen to 90.5 sen with 481 million shares traded after Bursa Malaysia Securities removed the lower price limit for both counters.
George Kent and MRCB are the project delivery partner for the Light Rail Transit from Bandar Utama to Klang.
KL Kepong fell 98 sen to RM24.42 and erased 1.87 points from the KLCI despite that crude palm oil for third month delivery was up RM18 to RM2,432 per tonne. IOI Corp and PPB Group were flat at RM4.75 and RM19.80.
Maxis fell 13 sen to RM5.67 and wiped out 1.82 points. Telekom lost 14 sen to RM4.78 and Axiata four sen to RM5.17 and Digi chalked out one sen gain to RM4.71.
Among the banks, Public Bank lost 16 sen to RM24.34 and erased 1.11 points while Maybank and CIMB shed four sen each to RM6.81 and RM5.17. AmBank fell eight sen to RM3.50, Hong Leong Bank was flat at RM18.90 and RHB Bank edged up one sen to RM5.46.
Genting Malaysia rose 25 sen to RM5.23 and added 2.66 points to the KLCI while Genting Bhd was up 13 sen to RM8.82.
US light crude oil rose 59 cents to US$72.08 and Brent was up 58 cents to US$79.86. Petronas Gas rose 34 sen to RM17.84, Petronas Chemical added six sen to RM8.68 and Petronas Dagangan gained four sen to RM26.36.
However, refiners Hengyuan fell 48 sen to RM8.28 and Petron 24 sen lower to RM8.88.