KLCI closes higher but down 15% in 1Q, battered by Covid-19

  • Markets
  • Tuesday, 31 Mar 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia’s FBM KLCI ended Tuesday, the first quarter of 2020, on a downbeat note as the Covid-19 ravaged global and Asian markets, which was worse than the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.

At 5pm, the KLCI was up 22.01 points or 1.66% to 1,350.89. Year-to-date, the KLCI is down 14.97%, despite last week’s rally ahead of the RM250bil stimulus package to offset the severe impact from the coronavirus.

Turnover was 3.52 billion shares valued at RM2.87bil. There were 708 gainers, 185 losers and 288 counters unchanged.

Billions of ringgit had been wiped out from the local stock market as foreign funds fled. The regulators’ move to halt short selling activities helped somewhat to steady the market.

The ringgit fell to 4.315 against the US dollar from 4.091 at Dec 31,2019.

Reuters reported world stocks looked set to close their worst quarter since 2008 on a brighter note, as strong Chinese factory data held out hope for an economic revival even as much of the rest of the world shut down to fight the coronavirus.

Stocks have rallied since the start of last week but remain down more than 20% for the quarter. European shares have had an even worst time, suffering their worst three months since 1987.

At Bursa, consumers held steady with Dutch Lady up RM1.26 to RM43.30, Nestle 70 sen to RM136.70 and F&N gained 50 sen to RM31.02.

Among the banks, Maybank rose 14 sen to RM7.45 and added 2.42 points to the KLCI, CIMB advanced nine sen to RM3.60 and Public Bank eight sen to RM15.90 while Hong Leong Bank advanced four sen to RM13.46. RHB Bank shed 10 sen to RM4.69.

Tenaga Nasional gained 22 sen to RM12.02 and pushed the KLCI up nearly two points. MISC added four sen to RM7.44, Genting 25 sen higher at RM3.75 and GentingM seven sen to RM2.01.

Petronas Chemicals climbed 30 sen to RM5.05 and it was the biggest mover, driving the index up 3.78 points. Petronas Dagangan jumped RM1.04 to RM21.16 while Petronas Gas was unchanged at RM15.40. Dialog edged up two sen to RM3.04.

Sime Darby Plantation rose 29 sen to RM4.94 and boosted the KLCI by 3.18 points. KL Kepong ws up 66 sen to RM20.76. IOI Corp rose 13 sen to RM4 and PPB Group two sen to RM16.42.

Maxis lost 15 sen to RM5.35, Digi five sen to RM4.35 but Axiata gained six sen to RM3.28.

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