CIMB, PetChem, Maybank weigh on KLCI

KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI closed in the red at midday on Friday, dragged down by losses in CIMB Group . Petronas Chemicals (PetChem) and Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) amid a relatively weak broader market.

At 12.30pm, the 30-stock index was down 3.26 lower to 1,778.11. The benchmark index opened 2.62 points higher at 1,783.99 this morning.

Turnover on the stock exchange was 1.1 billion shares valued at RM708.37mil. Losers outpaced gainers by 453 to 248, while 353 counters were unchanged.

US markets ended mixed overnight with the Dow inching to a record high after inflation data exceeded estimates, increasing the odds of a tighter monetary policy. Earlier, European stocks also closed mixed with the FTSE tumbling after the Bank of England said it might raise interest rates in the next few months.

JF Apex said following the mixed performance in the US and Europe, the FBM KLCI could remain lacklustre below the resistance of 1,800 points.

Meanwhile, AllianceDBS Research said the analysis of overall market action on Sept 14 revealed that buying power was weaker than selling pressure. 

As such, the research house said FBM KLCI would likely trade below the 1,780.79 level on Friday.

CIMB Group was one the laggards among the KLCI stocks, pushing the 30-stock index down by 1.6387 points. The bank fell 11 sen to RM6.62. PetChem eased seven sen to RM7.33 pushing the index down by 0.9216 while Maybank slipped three sen to RM9.69, nudging the index lower by 0.522.

On Bursa Malaysia, British American Tobacco was the top gainer, up 28 sen to RM43.90 while Hong Leong Financial Group added 18 sen to RM17.20 and United Plantations gained 10 sen to RM27.90.

The decliners included Magni-Tech, Dutch Lady and Fraser & Neave. Magni-Tech tumbled 97 sen, or 13.29% to RM6.33 after it reported a lower quarterly earnings.

The manufacturer of garments and a wide range of flexible plastic, corrugated and offset printing packaging products saw its 1QFY18 net profit fell 17% year-on-year, due to net foreign exchange loss recorded for the quarter.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported that most Southeast Asian stock markets edged down on Friday, in line with broader Asia, as North Korea’s latest missile launch caused a mild flutter among investors.

Pyongyang’s missile flew over Japan’s northern Hokkaido, further escalating tensions following North Korea’s test of its most powerful nuclear bomb yet.

The missile launch came just days after the United Nations Security Council imposed new sanctions against North Korea over the nuclear test on Sept. 3.

Elsewhere in the region, Japan’s Nikkei 225 was up 0.15%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.4%, Shanghai Composite lost 0.38% while benchmarks in Singapore eased 0.29% and South Korea’s Kospi closed unchanged.