Friday, February 11, 2011

Banks weigh on market as profit taking continues, Asian mkts down

KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI extended its losses at the mid-day break on Friday, Feb 11 in line with the overall tepid sentiment that saw investors selling down stocks across key regional markets.

Asian stocks fell and were on course for their biggest weekly loss in nine months, as investors shunned risk on concerns about the pace of policy tightening within the region and escalating tensions in Egypt, according to Reuters.

A broad sell-off in Asia since the start of 2011 on inflationary worries has shown no signs of abating, as worries about the scale of monetary tightening has encouraged the continuing rotation out of emerging and into developed markets, it said.

The FBM KLCI fell 0.44% or 6.59 points to 1,497.40, remaining below the psychologically crucial 1,500-point level, weighed by banking and index-linked PLANTATION [] stocks.

Losers thumped gainers by 621 to 134, while 246 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 860.90 million shares valued at RM1.14 billion.

The ringgit weakened 0.04% to 3.0455 versus the US dollar; crude palm oil futures for the third month delivery slipped RM21 per tonne to RM3,867, crude oil rose 40 cents per barrel to US$87.13 while gold fell 18 cents per troy ounce to US$1,363.63.

Taiwan's Taiex -1.46% 8,707.76 Singapore's Straits Times Index -0.79% 3,078.89 Hang Seng Index -0.39% 22,621.06 Kospi -0.14% 2,005.59 Shanghai Composite Index -0.09% 2,815.61 Japan's Nikkei 225 closed ''



Maybank Investment Bank Bhd Research in a strategy note said Malaysian equities had showd signs of weakness in the run-up to Chinese New Year (on Feb 3-4).

The research house said it had forewarned of profit-taking activities ahead of the festivity after the KLCI hit a high of 1,574 pts on Jan 17.

Average daily trading value on Bursa surged to RM2.67 billion in January, the highest since Apr 2007, it said.

'Recently released equities trading data show that foreign net buying narrowed to just RM100 million in January, versus RM2.6 billion in Dec 2010.

'Preliminary data shows that foreigners have turned net sellers this week, with a total net selling of RM1.18 billion. With net foreign buying totaling RM16 billion since early-2010, this suggests that the market could remain weak for awhile,' it said.

On Bursa Malaysia, banking stocks were among the major losers, with RHB Capital falling 26 sen to RM8.01, AMMB down 12 sen to RM6.06, Hong Leong Financial Group three sen to RM8.80 while Maybank and Hong Leong Bank shed two sen each to RM8.54 and RM9.21.

Among plantations, PPB fell 48 sen to RM16.20, KLK 38 sen to RM21.70, United Plantations 28 sen to RM16.42, and Batu Kawan down 22 sen to RM16.56.

Other losers included Nestle, DiGi, DFZ Capital and Tradewinds.

Gainers this morning included Tasek, Panasonic, Supermax, Asia File, Petronas Chemicals, Southern steel and EPIC.

SAAG was the most actively traded stock with 31.6 million shares done. The counter was unchanged at 24.5 sen. Other actives included Karambunai, Ho Wah Genting, Iris Corp, Olympia, Mulpha and Ramunia.

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