Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Asian markets decline on euro zone worries

KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI managed to stay positive at midday Wednesday, June 9 while key Asian markets declined after Fitch Ratings said the UK faced a formidable fiscal challenge, fueling concerns Europe's sovereign debt problems could stifle the global economic recovery.

Adding to the uncertainty, US Federal Reserve officials on Tuesday gave conflicting signals on the direction of interest rates, highlighting an increasingly important split within the central bank as the US economy shows signs of slowing, according to Reuters.

Investors were also awaiting a European Central Bank meeting later in the day to see if it will announce fresh steps to ease strains from the euro zone's debt crisis, Reuters said.

At the regional markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.52% to 9,392.70, Taiwan's TAIEX Index lost 1.42% to 7,050.68, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index shed 0.37% to 19,415.16, the South Korean Kospi Index fell 0.27% to 1,646.97 and Singapore's Straits Times Index lost 0.19% to 2,741.46. The Shanghai Composite Index, however, added 0.15% to 2,517.82.

At Bursa Malaysia, the FBM KLCI added 0.15% or 1.92 points to 1,290.10 at midday, lifted by gains at key blue chips including Tenaga, Axiata and banking stocks.

Gainers led losers by 246 to 211 while 213 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 316.31 million shares valued at RM327.26 million.

Crude palm oil futures for the third month delivery fell RM27 per tonne to RM2,380 while crude oil rose 25 cents per barrel to US$72.24.

At Bursa Malaysia, Tenaga and AMMB added three sen each to RM8.32 and RM4.95, Axiata and Public Bank up two sen each to RM3.79 and RM11.54, while CIMB and Maxis gained one sen each to RM6.88 and RM5.30.

YTL Corp added four sen to RM7.34, while PPB Group and KLK gained six sen each to RM15.78 and RM16.

Other gainers included SP Setia, Supermax, Top Glove and Carlsberg.

Kenmark, which fell by 44.4% or 12 sen to 15 sen, was the most actively traded stock with 63.97 million shares done.

Taliworks was the top loser and fell 16 sen to RM1.60, while Amway, United PLANTATION []s and Tanjong fell 10 sen each to RM7.40, RM14 and RM17.10, respectively.

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