KUALA LUMPUR: Banks led blue chips lower on Friday as worries about the fallout on the economy continued to weigh on investor and the anxiety among investors was also seen in Asian markets.
At 5pm, the KLCI was down 7.93 points or 0.53% to 1,483.10. Turnover was 2.65 billion shares valued at RM2.28bil. Decliners beat advancers 649 to 251 while 326 counters were unchanged.
The Nikkei 225 fell 2.72%, Hang Seng Index 2.32%, CSI 300 1.62%, Shanghai Comporsite 1.21%. Taiwan Taiex 1.68%, South Koprea's Kospi 2.16% and Singapore's STI 1.74%.
Reuters reported broader Asian markets tracked Wall Street lower as deaths from the virus rose in the United States and elsewhere, taking the toll worldwide to more than 3,200.
"What was initially seen as a China-centric shock is now certainly a global concern," said Westpac senior economist Elliot Clarke.
At Bursa, consumer stocks were the top losers with F&N down RM1.48 to RM30.52, Nestle RM1 to RM140, Carlsberg 60 sen to RM29.28.
Among the banks, Public Bank fell 34 sen to RM17.66 and erased 2.36 points, CIMB six sen to RM4.44, Maybank three sen to RM8.50, Hong Leong Bank 10 sen to RM15.54 while RHB Bank and AmBank shed one sen each to RM5.70 and RM3.69.
RAM Ratings said the Malaysian banking sector wrapped up 2019 with a muted 3.9% loan expansion (2018: 5.6%, adjusted) - a multi-year low.
“Already having had to contend with the US-China trade tensions and anaemic global growth, the global Covid-19 outbreak and domestic political uncertainties are expected to further constrict credit demand, ” Wong Yin Ching, co-head of Financial Institution Ratings said.
Genting lost 12 sen to RM4.75, GentingM three sen to RM2.72, Tenaga four sen to RM12.60, Sime Darby was unchanged at RM2. Press Metal lost 15 sen to RM4.71 and Hap Seng 19 sen to RM9.26.
However, glove makers rallied with Top Glove up 27 sen to RM6 and Hartalega 17 sen to RM6.40 while Kossan added nine sen to RM5.03 and Supermax eight sen to RM1.79.
Malaysia Airports continued to lose ground to the impact on travel due to the Covid-19, falling 21 sen to RM6.01. IHH Healthcare rose 15 sen to RM5.75 and nudged the KLCI up 2.35 points.
Crude palm oil for third month delivery fell RM71 to RM2,453 per tonne.
As for plantations, KL Kepong rose eight sen to RM21.80 and Sime Plantation three sen to RM4.87 but PPB Group fell 42 sen to RM17.74 and IOI Corp four sen to RM4.16.
Reuters reported Opec was holding crunch talks with its allies y after the group told Russia and others it wanted an additional 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil cuts until the end of 2020, saying a big move was needed to deal with the impact of coronavirus.
Opec's proposal effectively presents an ultimatum to Moscow, which has so far been reluctant to back extra curbs on supply, even though oil prices have plunged more than 20% since the start of the year, trading below US$50 a barrel on Friday.
Crude oil prices fell with US light crude oil down 79 cents to US$45.11 and Brent US$1 to US$48.99.
Petronas Gas lost 22 sen to RM16.14, Petronas Chemicals one sen to RM5.65 while Petronas Dagangan was unchanged at RM22.08. Dialog lost five sen to RM4.16.
Mclean Technologies ended 16 sen lower at 21 sen with 53.6 million shares done as traders unloaded the shares following the price surg this week.
The ringgit fell against the key currencies, down 0.25% versus the US dollar to 4.1733; down 0.93% to the pound sterling at 5.4161; skidded 1.53% against the euro to 4.7068 while it surrended 0.76% against the Singapore dollar to 3.0237.
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