KLCI closes off day's low but broader market weak

KUALA LUMPUR: Some fund buying of key blue chips including Sime Darby and Top Glove helped the FBM KLCI close off the day’s low on Friday but the broader market was weak in line with the cautious key Asian markets.

At 5pm, the FBM KLCI was down 1.8 points or 0.11% to 1,626.19. Turnover was 9.04 billion shares valued at RM5.79bil. The broader market weakened with 787 losers to 347 gainers and 417 counters unchanged.

Chinese equities ended lower, marking a weekly loss of 1.4%, after a rough start to China-US bilateral talks prompted heavy selling as risk sentiment soured, Reuters reported. At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was down 1.69% at 3,404.66, while the blue-chip CSI300 index closed 2.62% lower.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index was down 1.41%, at 28,990.94. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index fell 1.63% to 11,283.92. Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.41%, Taiwan’s Taiex 1.34% and Singapore’s Straits Times Index 0.1% lower.

The negative sentiment from the key Asian markets spilled over to Southeast Asian markets including Bursa Malaysia.

Consumer stocks were among the top losers, Nestle fell RM1.10 to RM135.70, F&N RM1.04 to RM30.50 and Heineken 50 sen to RM26.08.

As for chip makers and tech stocks, MPI fell 94 sen to RM37.36 and KESM 44 sen to RM11.70 but Vitrox rose 42 sen to RM15.32 and Hightec gained 39 sen to RM2.18. Dataprep skidded 25% or 81 sen to RM2.50.

Meanwhile, G3 Global hit limit-down, falling 43 sen to RM1.01 in active trade ahead of its bonus issue of three shares for each share held, which goes ex on March 23. The number of new shares to be listed will be 1.85 billion.

Among the KLCI stocks, Top Glove rose 15 sen to RM5.41 and Supermax nine sen to RM4.31 while Hartalega eased one sen to RM9.69.

As for plantations, KL Kepong rose 48 sen to RM23.48, IOI Corp two sen to RM4.24 but PPB Group lost 16 sen to RM18.60 and Sime Plantation three sen to RM4.85.

Sime Darby added 13 sen to RM2.52, IHH 13 sen to RM5.48, Genting four sen to RM5.53. However, Tenaga fell 28 sen to RM10.56 and GentingM lost 11 sen to RM3.18.

Among the telcos, Maxis added 12 sen to RM4.75, Digi six sen to RM3.74 and Axiata five sen to RM3.85 but TM shed nine sen to RM6.32.

US light crude oil rebounded 93 cents to US$60.93 and Brent added 94 cents to US$64.22.

Petronas Dagangan edged up eight sen to RM20.30 and Petronas Chemicals two sen to RM8.22 but Petronas Gas fell 16 sen to RM15.58 and Dialog six sen to RM3.17.

Among the banks, Hong Leong Bank lost 18 sen to RM19.10, HLFG 16 sen to RM17.30, Public Bank five sen to RM4.23 but CIMB rose three sen to RM4.58 and Maybank just a sen higher at RM8.38.

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