KUALA LUMPUR: A better-than-expected GDP data in the third quarter helped the local stock market to pare its losses on Friday, while Hong Leong Capital, which resumed trading after a five-year suspension, managed to end off the day's low.
At 5pm, the FBM KLCI was down just 1.09 points or 0.07% to 1,589.69. Turnover was robust with 12.58 billion shares done valued at RM4.60. The broader market was slightly firmer as advancers led decliners 650 to 531 and 450 counters unchanged.
Malaysia’s economy in the third quarter contracted at a smaller pace of 2.7% in the third quarter ended Sept 30,2020 compared with the 17.1% plunge in the second quarter. The 2.7% decline was better than consensus expectation of a 3.7% contraction.
For 2020, Malaysia will be in a recession, contracting between 3.5% and 5.5%, before expanding between 6.5% and 7.5% next year.
“The Malaysian economy is expected to improve further going into 2021 in tandem with better global demand and domestic policy support, ” Bank Negara said in a statement.
Hong Leong Capital, which hit limit-down in early trade, ended RM2.05 lower at RM7.10 with 17.67 million shares done. It was the top loser of the day.
Hong Leong Bank was down 36 sen to RM16.34 and Public Bank lost 16 sen to RM17.76. Maybank rose 13 sen to RM7.93 and CIMB five sen to RM3.44.
Among the KLCI stocks, Hap Seng fell 40 sen to RM8.03, MAHB 18 sen to RM5.18 and Tenaga 16 sen to RM11.32.
As for consumer stocks, Nestle lost 30 sen to RM139.70 and F&N 22 sen to RM31.98 but Berjaya Food gained 21 sen to RM1.35 and Ajinomoto 20 sen to RM15.40.
Petronas Dagangan fell the most among the oil and gas stocks, down 54 sen to RM19.26 while Petronas Gas was down 10 sen to RM16.20 and Petronas Chemicals five sen to RM6.78.
MPI was the top performer, up 50 sen to RM23.50 among the semicon and tech-related stocks while UWC climbed 18 sen to RM7.50.
Euro Holdings jumped 48 sen to RM2.98, KPower 31 sen to RM4.40, SCIB 28 sen to RM4.38 and MCement 25 sen to RM2.23.