Bursa remains downbeat on growing anxieties over global bank crisis

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia ended a downbeat morning session with all sectors in the red amid growing instability in the global financial sector.

Investors are flocking to safe havens as questions of sufficient funding in Swiss-based Credit Suisse intensified concerns that global banks are at risk of being plunged into crisis.

At 12.30pm, Malaysia's bellwether FBM KLCI was down 8.03 points to 1,395.9 as investors failed to hold on to the 1,400 psychological support.

There were 677 decliners on the market compared to 146 gainers, putting the market en route to another day of broad-based losses.

Credit Suisse's announcement that it planned to borrow 50 billion Swiss francs (US$54bil) from Switzerland's central bank did little to soothe investor sentiment in Asian markets, which extended deep losses for the week.

Japan's Nikkei was down 1.1% to 26,948, South Korea's Kospi fell 0.3% to 2,373 and China's composite index dropped 0.5% to 3,247.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng was down 1.5% to 19,245 while Australia's ASX200 shed 1.5% to 6,960.

Malaysia's largest bank by assets, Maybank, slid five sen to RM8.30 amid the ongoing anxiety over contagion in the financial sector.

CIMB followed suit with a six sen decline to RM5.17. However, Public Bank was up one sen to RM3.96 and Hong Leong Bank rose two sen to RM20.02.

In other sectors, IHH fell nine sen ot RM4.80, Press Metal dropped six sen to RM4.74 and IOI was down six sen to RM3.74.

Notable gainers on the market included AirAsia X up 10 sen to RM1.38, Vitrox rising eight sen to RM7.54 and Greatech gaining five sen to RM4.75.

Most active counters were Metronic up 0.5 sen to two sen, Capital A sliding 2.5 sen ot 77.5 sen and Icon unchanged at 9.5 sen.

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