Weaker crude oil prices push KLCI into the red

KUALA LUMPUR: Weaker crude oil prices pushed Petronas-linked stocks into the red at the close on Thursday, making Bursa Malaysia the only market in the negative zone among key Asian bourses.

At 5pm, the KLCI was down 1.79 points or 0.11% to 1,672.70 and it is down 1.06% year-to-date.

In the last hour of trade, there were attempts to push the KLCI into the positive zone but they were overwhelmed by selling of Petronas stocks, Tenaga Nasional and banks.

Turnover on Bursa was 1.84 billion shares valued at RM1.90bil. Gainers led losers 367 to 352 while 444 counters were unchanged.

Meanwhile, US light crude oil fell 40 cents to US$58.98 and Brent fell 50 cents to US$65.99 per barrel, dragging Petronas Gas, Petronas Chemical and Petronas Dagangan into the red.

On the external front, Chinese shares ended higher  as hopes rose that the US and China could reach an agreement to prevent further escalation in their trade war, ahead of a meeting between leaders of the two countries this weekend, Reuters reported.

The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.69%, Japan's Nikkei 225 added 1.19%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index 1.42% higher while Singapore's STI gained 0.83%.

At Bursa, Petronas Gas fell 40 sen to RM17.10 and erased 1.37 points, Petronas Chemicals four sen to RM8.38 and Petronas Dagangan 14 sen to RM25.38 but Dialog edged up one sen to RM3.26.

Tenaga fell 10 sen to RM13.68 and erased one point but Genting added six sen to RM6.80 and MISC five sen higher to RM7.20.

Among the banks, Maybank, CIMB and RHB Bank fell three sen each to RM8.89, RM5.35 and RM5.59 respectively and AmBank six sen lower to RM4.24.  However, Public Bank rose 14 sen to RM23.16 and added 0.94 of a point, but it was off the intra-day high of RM23.40.

As for telcos, Maxis gained six sen to RM5.80, Digi five sen higher at RM5.05 while Axiata was flat at RM5.

Crude palm oil for third month delivery rose RM10 to RM1,976. Sime Plantation rose two sen to RM4.86, IOI Corp unchanged at RM4.29, PPB Group dipped two sen to RM18.56 and KL Kepong four sen lower at RM24.54.

As for consumer stocks, BAT lost 40 sen to RM29.10 but Calrsberg 20 sen higher at RM25.60.

The ringgit firmed up against the US dollar, up 0.08% to 4.1445.

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