KUALA LUMPUR: Petronas-linked stocks, Tenaga Nasional and Public Bank weighed on the FBM KLCI on Wednesday on continued fund selling but plantations brightened the gloomy market as crude palm oil (CPO) futures rallied past RM2,900.
At 5pm, the FBM KLCI was down 5.73 points or 0.37% to 1,562.71 and year-to-date the 30-stock index is down 7.56%. However, it ended off the day's low on some late buying support.
Turnover was 2.62 billion shares valued at RM1.62bil. There were 406 gainers, 462 sellers and 359 counters unchanged.
Hong Kong stocks erased earlier gains to end flat, as investors remained wary over China's latest dismal export data and the months-long protests in the Asian financial hub. The Hang Seng index was unchanged at 26,494.73, while the China Enterprises Index was unchanged at 10,408.05.
Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.33%, Shanghai Composite added 0.08%, Taiwan's Taiex 0.44% and South Korea's Kospi advcanced 0.33% but Singapore's STI fell 0.42%.
US light crude oil fell 48 cents to US$58.72 and Brent was down 46 cents to US$63.93. Data showed that Chinese exports declined for a fourth straight month, sending shivers through a market already concerned about damage being done to global demand by the US-China trade war, Reuters reported.
Petronas Gas lost 20 sen to RM15.60 and Petronas Dagangan 18 sen lower at RM22.16 while Petronas Chemicals was five sen lower at RM7.05. Their combined losses wiped out 1.7 points from the KLCI. Dialog lost five sen to RM3.40.
Tenaga lost 20 sen to RM13.22 and erased 2.01 points from the KLCI. PublicInvest Research has upgraded the power giant to Neutral (previously Trading Sell) with an unchanged target price of RM14.12.
Public Bank fell 14 sen to RM19.02 and erased nearly one point. AmBank lost six sen to RM3.82 while CIMB, RHB Bank and HL Bank shed two sen each to RM5.18, RM5.62 and RM16.78 respectively. However, Maybank rose six sen to RM8.56 and nudged the KLCI up 1.2 points.
CPO for third month delivery rose above RM2,900 in early trade and was trading at RM2,894 about 5pm, up RM36.
KL Kepong rose 66 sen to RM24.82 and added 1.25 points, IOI Corp gained five sen to RM4.53, Sime Planation two sen to RM5.30 and PBB Group eight sen to RM18.40.
FGV rallied 13 sen to RM1.45 with 46 million shares done, catching up with the more profitable plantation players. At RM1.45, this was the highest since October 2018 on a news report that a tycoon was keen to take up a stake.
Batu Kawan, a major shareholder in KLK, rose 30 sen to RM16.14, Genting Plantations 20 sen to RM10.60, IJM Plantation 16 sen to RM2.14 and United Plantation 14 sen to RM26.24. However Sungai Bagan fell 21 sen to RM2.84.
The ringgit weakened by 0.05% to the US dollar to 4.1613, skidded 0.25% against the pound sterling to 5,4767 but climbed 0.36% against the euro to 4,6040 and edged up 0.01% against the Singapore dollar to 3.0588.
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