Lacklustre start for Bursa as banks weigh


KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips got off to a lacklustre start on Friday, continuing from the previous day in the absence of strong leads, with Hong Leong Bank and Public Bank weighing on the FBM KLCI.

At 9.18am, the KLCI was down 3.64 points or 0.22% to 1,626.60. Turnover was 243.07 million shares valued at RM164.96mil. There were 162 gainers, 168 losers and 209 counters unchanged.

Asian share markets were subdued amid thin holiday trade although the dollar found support as investors pared expectations for a US rate cut this year while oil prices loitered near one-month lows on oversupply fears, Reuters reported.

Australia's benchmark index was last up 0.2%, New Zealand shares were off 0.5% while South Korea's KOSPI slipped 0.3%. Trading volumes were light across Asia with markets in China and Japan still closed for holidays.

Meanwhile, Maybank Investment Bank Research said foreign investors sold a net RM1.5bil of Malaysian equities in April 2019, continuing from the past two months.
 
“For January-April 2019, they sold a net RM2.9bil. Cumulative foreign net buying since early 2010 has been more than erased,” it said. 

BAT fell the most, down 56 sen to RM34.84, F&N lost 54 sen to RM34.26 and Carlsberg 42 sen lower at RM25.32. 

Hong Leong Bank was down 20 sen to RM19.80, HLFG 14 sen to RM18.88 and Public Bank 10 sen to RM22.38.

Vitrox skidded 39 sen to RM6.80 and MPI 12 sen to RM9.85.

Top Glove and MAHB gave up nine sen each to RM4.73 and RM7.51.

Meanwhile, Petronas Dagangan was up 24 sen to RM24.26, Padini 10 sen to RM3.97, Can-One added eight sen to RM3.45 and Pentamaster five sen to RM4.32.

Lafarge was the most active with 15.6 million shares done, doen one sen to RM3.71.

YTL Corp Bhd said its subsidiary YTL Cement Bhd, has agreed to acquire LafargeHolcim's entire 51% stake in Lafarge Malaysia for US$396mil. The purchase price valued Lafarge Malaysia at RM3.75 a share.

Markets