Tuesday, November 23, 2010

KLCI, Asian markets down on euro worries

KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI remained below the 1,500 level at midday on Tuesday, Nov 23 as investors stayed cautious after key regional markets tumbled, while the euro and commodities declined, as a bailout for debt-soaked Ireland failed to allay fears of a wider euro zone crisis.

At 12.20pm, the 30-stock FBM KLCI fell 0.32% or 4.76 points to 1,498.44. Losers thumped gainers by 537 to 137, while 247 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 506.38 million shares valued at RM797.23 million.

The Shanghai Composite Index tumbled 2.49% to 2,812.55, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 1.81% to 23,097.28, the South Korean Kospi down 1.14% to 1,922.13, Singapore's Straits Times Index down 1.04% to 3,157.78 and Taiwan's Taiex fell 0.35% to 8,345.68.

Japan's stock market was closed for the Labor Thanksgiving holiday.

The euro had initially spiked on Monday on news of a European Union and International Monetary Fund bailout for Ireland, where a property bust has pushed the nation's banks to the brink of collapse and blown a hole in the public finances, according to Reuters.

Also, moves by the authorities to cool the property market continued to weigh in Hong Kong, where the property sub-index fell 2.6%, it said.

The ringgit weakened 0.39% to 3.1155 versus the US dollar; gold fell US$8.45 an ounce to US$1,358 and crude oil shed 46 cents per barrel to US$81.28. Meanwhile, crude palm oil futures for the third month delivery gained RM8 per tonne to RM3,192.

At Bursa Malaysia, the top losers included DiGi that fell 42 sen to RM24.38, BAT down 28 sen to RM44.88, Kulim down 18 sen to RM12.48 while PetGas and PetDag lost 14 sen each to RM11.12 and RM10.98.

PPB fell 38 sen to a month's low of RM18.42, after it reported a set of weaker earnings and was downgraded to fully valued.

Gainers included Nestle, Hap Seng, SEG International, S P Setia and AirAsia. Nestle rose 44 sen to RM43.84 with 100 shares done, Hap Seng added 12 sen to RM4.76 while Air Asia gained eight sen to RM2.56 while Air Asia-JA added nine sen to 77 sen.

Axiata was the most actively traded counter with 17.1 million shares done. The stock was unchanged at RM4.49.

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