KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips ended Thursday at a month's low, in line with the weaker key Asian markets, as the US-China trade war continues to erode corporate earnings and impact global economic growth.
At 5pm, the FBM KLCI was down 8.60 points or 0.52% to 1,648.93 – the lowest since June 18 and sending it down 2.46% year-to-date. The main contributor to the losses were Petronas Chemical, Tenaga Nasional and Sime Plantation.
Turnover was 2.83 billion shares valued at RM1.83bil. The broader market was weaker as decliners beat advancers more than two to one or 575 losers to 270 gainers and 388 counters unchanged.
Global shares slipped on growing signs that the US-China trade dispute was taking a toll on corporate earnings, with nerves spreading from Wall Street through Asia to European markets, Reuters reported.
The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 47 countries, fell 0.2% to their lowest in nine days, while the Euro STOXX 600 slipped 0.5% to its lowest in almost three weeks, Reuters reported.
Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.97%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index 0.46%, Shanghai Composite Index 1.04%, Taiwan's Taiex 0.27%, South Korea's Kospi 0.31% and Singapore's STI 0.3% lower.
Petronas Chemical fell 30 sen to RM7.62 and erased 4.18 points from the KLCI after it was downgraded by a foreign research house and a retreat in crude oil price. Petronas Dagangan lost 22 sen to RM24.28 and Petronas Gas 18 sen lower at RM16.88 while Dialog ended five sen lower at RM3.45.
US light crude oil fell 21 cents to US$56.57 due to a sharp rise in US stockpiles of products like gasoline while and Brent was 15 cents lower at US$63.51.
Crude palm oil for third month delivery fell RM7 to RM1,981 per tonne. Sime Plantation fell 11 sen to RM13.42, IOI Corp unchanged at RM4.24, KL Kepong flat at RM24 but PPB Group rose four sen to RM18.66.
Tenaga lost 14 sen to RM13.42 and wiped out 1.39 points but Genting rose two sen to RM6.62 and Sime Darby climbed three sen to RM2.23.
As for banks, Public Bank lost 10 sen to RM22.86, Maybank two sen lower at RM8.86, AmBank shed one sen to RM18.56 while CIMB and RHB Bank were unchanged RM5.15 and RM5.72.
Among the telcos. Axiata fell four sen to RM5.10, Maxis three sen lower at RM5.61 but Digi rose one sen to RM4.94.
The ringgit rose 0.04% to the US dollar to 4.1128.