FBMKLCI goes lower, tech stocks see red

KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI headed for its sixth straight day of losses amid weak regional sentiment as US-Korean tensions escalated over a war of words.

At 12.30pm, the local index dipped 6.77 points to 1,762.37. On the broader market, decliners beat advancers 446 to 158 with 498 counters unchanged. Turnover was 2.12 billion shares with a value of RM915.16mil.

Stocks on the FBM KLCI were mostly down in morning trade. Among banking stocks, CIMB fell five sen to RM6.26, Hong Leong fell eight sen to RM15.80, Maybank fell four sen to RM9.74 and  Public Bank fell six sen to RM20.54. AMMB gained two sen to RM4.39 and RHB was up two sen to RM5.18.

Telcos also went lower, with Digi falling nine sen to RM4.82, Maxis dropping two sen to RM5.78 and Telekom shaving off four sen to RM6.35. Axiata was up one sen to RM5.13.

In the plantations sector, IOI dipped one sen to RM4.54, Kuala Lumpur Kepong dropped four sen to RM24.58 and Sime Darby fell six sen to RM9.04.

Property developers IJM fell one sen to Rm3.34 and Hap Seng Consolidated dropped one sen to RM9.04.

Among Petronas-related stocks, Petronas Chemicals was down four sen to RM7.31 wihile Petronas Gas fell 12 sen to RM18.32. Petronas Dagangan gained two sen to RM24.28.

Technology stocks were a sea of red on Bursa Malaysia, tracking tech counters in other Asian markets even as lacklustre reviews of Apple’s iPhone weighed on its Asian suppliers. 

Furthermore, the North Korean issue presents “an excuse for investors to sell technology shares that rose a lot recently and rotate into energy stocks”, Sang-Young, a strategist at Kiwoom Securities Co in Seoul, told Bloomberg.

Among the biggest tech losers, MPI fell 22 sen to RM13, GTronic dropped 18 sen to RM5.94 and KESM fell 16 sen to RM16.24.

Oil prices extended gains on Tuesday, supported by Turkey’s threat to cut crude flows from Iraq’s Kurdistan region to the outside world, Reuters reports.

WTI Crude was 0.08% higher at US$52.26 a barrel while Brent Crude extended gains for its fifth straight day, 0.53% stronger at US$59.33 a barrel.

On the forex market, the ringgit was 0.01% stronger against the US dollar at 4.2043, 0.24% stronger against the pound sterling at 5.6691 and unchanged against the Singapore dollar at 3.1127.