KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips closed on a weaker note on Monday, weighed down by Sime Plantation, Tenaga and Axiata on profit taking after firm gains the previous week while trading value and volume on the stock market declined.
At 5pm, the KLCI was down 6.10 points or 0.36% to 1,676.13 and it is down 0.85% year-to-date. Turnover was 1.81 billion shares valued at RM1.68bil. Decliners beat advancers 518 to 294 while 356 counters unchanged.
Asian markets were mostly higher with Japan's Nikkei 225 up 0.13%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index added 0.14% also, Shanghai Composite Index 0.19% but Taiwan's Taiex fell 0.23% and Singapore's Straits Times Index lower by 0.3%.
Oil prices rose, extending vast gains last week prompted by tensions between Iran and the United States, as Washington was set to announce new sanctions on Tehran, Reuters reported.
Brent futures were up 11 cents, or 0.17%, at US$65.31 a barrel by 0845 GMT. West Texas Intermediate crude was up 40 cents, or 0.7%, at US$57.83 a barrel.
Despite the firmer prices, Petronas Chemical lost six sen to RM8.50, Petronas Gas eight sen to RM17.60 but Petronas Dagangan gained four sen to RM25.50 and Dialog unchanged at RM3.24.However, Yinson
rose 20 sen to RM6.26.
Crude palm oil for third month delivery fell RM23 to RM1,999. Sime Plantation fell nine sen to RM4.87 and erased 1.08 points from the KLCI, IOI Corp five sen to RM4.20, PPB Group 10 sen to RM18.60 but KL Kepong gained two sen to RM24.56.
TM added 10 sen to RM4.05, Axiata and Maxis lost six sen each to RM4.99 and RM5.75 while Digi was flat at RM4.95.
Tenaga Nasional lost 10 sen and wiped out nearly a point from the KLCI, IHH three sen to RM5.76, Genting 12 sen to RM6.89, GentingM three sen to RM3.32 and MAHB eight sen to RM8.47.
As for banks, CIMB rose five sen to RM5.28 and added 0.84 of a point to the KLCI, Maybank two sen to RM8.96, RHB Bank three sen to RM5.65 but AmBank shed one sen to RM4.40 and Public Bank four sen lower at RM23.02 while HL Bank gave up eight sen to RM23.02.
Nestle fell the most, down 40 sen to RM148.60 while Carlsberg lost 20 sen to RM25.48.
RHB Research Institute is positive on the Ministry of Finance’s (MoF) RM6.2bil offer to buy out four tolled highways after four months of negotiations. The highways are Lebuhraya Damansara Puchong (LDP), Sistem Penyuraian Trafik KL Barat (SPRINT), Lebuhraya Shah Alam (KESAS) and SMART Tunnel (SMART).
Gamuda fell 26 sen to RM3.57 on concerns on weaker financial performance in the absence of its tolled highway operations but Litrak gained 70 sen to RM4.91.
On the currency front, the ringgit rose 0.18% against the US dollar to 4.1415 but slipped 0.2% against the pound sterling to 5.2754, surrended 0.52% against the euro to 4.7189 and eased 0.01% to the Singapore dollar to 3.0602.