HL Bank, Tenaga weigh on KLCI on profit taking

KUALA LUMPUR: Mild profit taking set in on Tuesday with Hong Leong Bank, Tenaga Nasional and Axiata dragging the FBM KLCI into the red as traders were unsure of the truce in the US-China trade war.

At 9.02am, the KLCI was down 4.67 points or 0.27% to 1,695.05. Turnover was 168.44 million shares valued at RM43.28mil. There were 119 gainers, 73 losers and 155 counters unchanged.

Asian shares fell in early trade as a relief rally sparked by a truce in the US-China trade war gave way to doubts on whether the two countries are able to resolve their differences before a 90-day deadline, Reuters reported.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged down 0.2% as the Australian market gave up 0.5% and Seoul's Kospi fell 0.6%. Japan's Nikkei stock index was 0.3% lower.

Holding back investors’ enthusiasm for riskier appetite was the weaker corporate results in the quarter ended Nov 30, though the KLCI has historically posted positive returns in December.

CIMB Equities Research said over the past 10 years, the KLCI recorded an average month-on-month gain of 2%. 

“We maintain our end-2018 KLCI target of 1,684, which is based on 15.7 times 12 months forward P/E, and our top three picks (Dialog, MPI and Westports),”it said in in strategy report.

Hong Leong Bank fell 20 sen to RM20.42, Tenaga 14 sen to RM14.16, Press Metal 11 sen to RM4.76, Axiata six sen to RM3.89, CIMB and Petronas Chemicals five sen each to RM5.85 and RM9.12 and Genting Bhd three sen to RM6.56.

Bumi Armada was the most active with 24.8 million shares done. It she 0.5 sen to 19 sen.

Nestle rose 40 sen to RM148.40, CMSB 24 sen to RM347, HLFG 22 sen to RM19.56, MPI 18 sen to RM11.10 and Petronas Gas 10 sen to RM19.36.