KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips ended Friday on a cautious note on lack of strong fund buying as key Asian markets failed to provide the spark despite the easing of Mideast tensions between the US and Iran.
At 5pm, the KLCI was down 4.19 points or 0.26% to 1,591.46. Turnover was 2.74 billion shares valued at RM1.59bil. There were 401 gainers, 398 losers and 421 counters unchanged.
Key Asian market were mixed, with Japan's Nikkei 225 up 0.47%, Hang Seng Index climbing 0.27% while China's Shanghai Composite shed 0.08%, Taiwan's Taiex gained 0.45%, South Korea's Kospi 0.91% higher and Singapore's STI ended up 0.27%.
Stephen Innes chief Asia market strategist at AxiTrader said Friday morning saw Asia equities made further gains, but investors were probably a bit reluctant to push the envelope ahead of tonight US payrolls data.
“The jobs report comes as a most welcome distraction and will provide an essential update on the pace of US job gains.
“With US economic growth mostly dependent on the consumer, a healthy labour market is crucial to any constructive 'risk-on' narrative, ” he said.
The ringgit rose 0.3% against the US dollar to 4.0785 and climbed by 0.4% versus the pound sterling to 5.3301 while it advanced 0.41% against the euro to 4.5275 and edged up 0.18% to the Singapore dollar to 3.0215.
US light crude oil shed 14 cents to US$59.42 and Brent 10 sen lower at RM65.27. Petronas Chemicals fell seven sen and erased 0.98 of a point, Petronas Gas 16 sen to RM16.84 and Petronas Dagangan 28 sen lower at RM16.84. Dialog lost two sen to RM3.44.
Among tjhe telcos, seling pressure picked up on Axiata as it ended down eight sen to RM4.17 and wiped out 1.29 points from the KLCI, Digi shed four sen to RM4.54, Maxis eased one sen to RM5.50.
As for banks, CIMB shed four sen to RM5.20, Public Bank two sen to RM19.54, HL Bank and Maybank were flat at RM17.56 and RM8.65 but AmBank eked out a one sen gain to RM3.89 and RHB Bank six sen up to RM5.85.
Tenaga fell six sen to RM12.98, Sime Darby three sen to RM2.22, GentingM two sen to RM3.27 but Genting rose four sen to RM6.16. MAHB added seven seven sen to RM7.05, reversing several days of losses.
Crude palm oil for third month delivery rose RM18 to RM3,128 per tonne. However, the firmer prices failed to provide the spark to plantations. KL Kepong lost two sen to RM24.66 while IOI Corp, Sime Plantation and PPB Group were flat at RM4.70, RM5.45 and RM18.68 respectively.
Insurer LPI, the major shareholder in Public Bank, lost 18 sen to RM15.14. Allianz was the top loser of the day after it was downgraded by analysts after last week's rally, losing 38 sen to RM15.34. However, Takaful rose 14 sen to RM5.79.
Chip related stocks fared better than the overall market as KESM climbed 48 sen to RM9.84, MPI 42 sen to RM12.20 and Vitrox 29 sen to RM8.29.
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