KUALA LUMPUR: Tenaga Nasional pushed the FBM KLCI into the red in early Thursday trade in the absence of strong rerating catalysts and leads from institutional players while Ekovest was in focus.
At 9.08am, the KLCI was down 2.81 points or 0.17% to 1,636.65. Turnover was 335.15 million shares valued at RM92.27mil. There were 168 gainers, 90 losers and 209 counters unchanged.
Stephen Innes, head of trading and market strategy at SPI Asset Management said foreign investors were continuing to withdraw funds from the local stock market, and this was hurting the ringgit.
“I remain bullish in the ringgit even more as China data has started to turn positive and oil prices are rocketing higher. But perhaps traders are waiting for further confirmation from this week China data blitz,” he said.
As for the KLCI, Innes said however, the index could be suffering from the China MSCI rebalancing vacuum effect as investor flock to China A-shares anticipating more explosive returns as mainland's inflows are expected to accelerate over the next three to five months.
Meanwhile, oil prices fell on Thursday after US crude stockpiles surged to their highest levels in almost 17 months amid record production, Reuters reported. Brent futures fell 16 cents, or 0.2% to US$71.57 per barrel while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures lost 25 cents, or 0.4% to US$64.36.
US crude inventories rose seven million barrels to 456.6 million barrels in the last week, their highest since November 2017, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.
At Bursa, Tenaga fell 14 sen to RM12.44 with 145,100 shares done. Petronas Chemicals lost eight sen to RM8.92, Can-One
and Westports three sen each to RM3.30 and RM3.72 while RHB Bank shed two sen to RM5.67. Dialog eased two sen to RM3.22.
Petronas Dagangan added 10 sen to RM25.10, Tasek eight sen to RM5.48, G3 jumped 6.5 sen to 84.5 sen and its warrants added five sen to 77 sen.
Counters linked to Tan Sri Lim Kang Hoo extended their gains on the back of a potential revival of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) project. Ekovest-WB rose four sen to 19 sen, the shares 2.5 sen to 66 sen and IWCity two sen higher at RM1.03.