No respite for Bursa, key Asian markets as investors avoid riskier assets

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia extended its losses for the third day on Thursday as Tenaga Nasional continued to come under selling pressure while key Asian markets fell on US-China trade worries.

At 5pm, the KLCI was down 4.93 points or 0.29% to 1,683.34, but off the intra-day low of 1,670 as investors reduced their shareholdings in the power giant Tenaga, Sime Plantation and Genting Bhd .

Turnover on the stock exchange was at 1.96 billion shares valued at RM1.85bil. There were 259 gainers, 588 losers and 328 counters unchanged.

Sharp losses in technology shares pulled down benchmark stock indexes in China and Hong Kong, after the global chief financial officer of Chinese technology giant Huawei was arrested in relation to alleged violations of US sanctions, Reuters reported.

Meng Wanzhou, one of the vice chairs on Huawei's board and the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in Vancouver and is facing extradition to the United States, a Canadian Justice Department spokesman has said.

The tech rout and renewed trade worries pulled Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index down 2.47%, the Shanghai Composite index fell 1.7% to 2,605.18, while the blue-chip CSI300 index fell 2.2%. Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.91%, South Korea's Kospi 1.55% and Singapore's STI 1.28% lower. 

At Bursa, consumer stocks fell, led by Nestle, down RM2.50 to RM145, F&N RM1 to RM31.98, BAT 24 sen to RM37.42 and Ajinomoto 20 sen to RM18.80. Carlsberg rose 10 sen to RM19.24.

Tenaga lost 16 sen to RM13.76 and erased 1.62 points from the KLCI, Hartalega 15 sen to RM6.21 and Genting 12 sen to RM6.28 while MAHB was down 21 sen to RM7.60. MISC and GentingM gave up four sen each to RM6.06 and RM2.89. Sime Darby lost six sen to RM2.33.

US light crude oil fell 65 cents to US$52.24 and Brent slid 67 cents to US$60.89.

Petronas Gas fell 18 sen to RM19.10, Petronas Dagangan was flat at RM25.30 while Petronas Chemical gained six sen to RM9.27. Dialog gained five sen to RM3.23.

Crude palm oil for third month delivery rose RM12 to RM2,007 per tonne.

Sime Plantation lost 13 sen to RM4.67 and wiped out 1.57 points, IOI Corp added four sen to RM4.34, KL Kepong shed two sen to RM24.38 and PPB Group flat at RM17.

Among the banks, Hong Leong Bank lost four sen to RM20.62, RHB Bank two sen lower at RM5.34, Public Bank and CIMB unchanged at RM24.88 and RM5.80 while Maybank gained two sen to RM9.44.

As for telcos, Digi rose 16 sen to RM4.45 and pushed the KLCI up 2.21 points, Maxis and Telekom added five sen each to RM5.43 and RM2.59 while Axiata shed three sen to RM3.87.

Sapura Energy rose two sen to 35.5 sen in active trade after it resumed trading following the announcement that the company and its partner have received a RM3bil engineering, procurement, construction, installation and commissioning (EPCIC) contract from India's Oil and Natural Gas Corp.

Sapura Energy's wholly owned Sapura Fabrication Sdn Bhd is entitled to about RM1.47bil of the contract value as it has a 48.3% stake in the partnership with Afcons Infrastructure Ltd. 

Bumi Armada steadied afer the recent heavy selling, inching up 0.5 sen to16 sen with 58.66 million shares done.

The ringgit weakened against the key currencies, falling 0.26% to the US dollar to 4.1650; skidding 0.21% to the pound sterling to 5.2987, gave up 0.19% against the euro to 4.7185 and shed 0.01% to the Singapore unit at 3.0378.