KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia ended January on a disappointing note as the FBM KLCI sank further into the red on Friday as the coronavirus added more uncertainty and hurt investor sentiment.
At 5pm, the KLCI was down 14.53% or 0.94% to 1,531.06 and year-to-date, it is down 3.63%. The KLCI is at the lowest since Aug 24,2015. From the all-time high of 1,895 on April 19,2018, the index is down 364 points or 19.2%.
Turnover increased to 3.79 billion shares valued at RM3.29bil. Declining stocks beat advancers 5.6 to one or 897 losers to 159 gainers and 284 counters unchanged.
The World Health Organization on Thursday labelled the virus a global emergency.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, said the greatest worry was the potential for the virus to infect countries with weaker health systems, though his praise for China's response seemed to steady markets.
On the external front, Hong Kong stocks erased morning session gains and ended lower. The Hang Seng Index closed down 0.5% at 26,312.63, the lowest since Dec 5. The China Enterprises Index dropped 0.8% to 10,240.51. South Korea's Kospi slid 1.35% but Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.99% and Taiwan's Taiex 0.64% higher after the over 5% plunge on Thursday.
Asean markets fell with Philippines benchmark down 2.6%, Jakarta's Composite fell 1.94%, Thailand's SET 0.27% and Singapore's STI 0.94%.
The ringgit weakened against several key currencies in late trading. It fell 0.15% against the US dollar to 4.0955; skidded 1.24% against the pound sterling to 5.3790; weakened 0.15% to the euro at 4.5120 and lost 0.09% to the Singapore unit at 3.0035.
US light crude oil rose 56 cents to US$52.70 and Brent 50 cents higher at US$58.79 bt the gains were not enough to lift the oil stocks.
Petronas Chemicals fell 26 sen to RM6.19 and wiped out 3.7 points from the KLCI, Petronas Dagangan 34 sen to RM22.16 and Petronas Gas flat at RM16.
Maxis lost 19 sen to RM5.31 and erased 2.64 points, Digi 10 sen lower at RM4.23 and Axiata flat at RM4.30.
Among the banks, Public Bank lost 30 sen to RM18.60 and wiped out 2.07 points, Maybank lost six sen to RM8.43, AmBank eight sen to RM3.70, CIMB two sen to RM4.93, RHB Bank four sen to RM5.69 but HL Bank rallied 22 sen to RM16 and added 0.84 of a point.
MISC fell 26 sen to RM7.69, IHH 10 sen to RM5.70, Genting 10 sen to RM5.50 and GentingM seven sen to RM3.02 while Tenaga shed two sen to RM12.46.
Top Glove lost four sen to RM5.85 and Hartalega three sen to RM5.92.
Crude palm oil for third month delivery fell RM54 to RM2,600 per tonne. KL Kepong ended 10 sen lower at RM22.80 and PPB Group four sen to RM18.62 but IOI Corp rose three sen to RM4.54 and Sime Plantation seven sen to RM5.07.
Chip related stocks fell after South Korea's SK Hynix, the world's No.2 memory chip maker, warned a new virus outbreak in China could pose a threat to chip production and said it would sharply reduce annual investment after posting a steep fall in quarterly profit.
KESM fell 78 sen to RM10.12, Dufu 26 sen to RM3.86, MPI 24 sen to RM11.90, Pentamaster 13 sen to RM4.90, Vitrox 11 sen to RM9.30, Unisem eight sen to RM2.21 and Globetronics seven sen to RM2.36.
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