Wednesday, February 9, 2011

China rate hike weighs on markets

KUALA LUMPUR: Asian stocks, including at Bursa Malaysia, fell on Wednesday, Feb 9 following the 25-basis point interest rate hike by China late on Tuesday, its second increase in just over six weeks.

The Taiwan, Singapore and South Korean markets fell by more than 1% each, while Japan's Nikkei, Hong Kong's Hang Index and the FBM KLCI slipped into the red after having opened in positive territory.

At the mid-day break, the FBM KLCI lost 0.30% or 4.64 points to 1,534.91, weighed by losses including at banking stocks and select blue chips on mild profit taking. There were 500 losers, 243 gainers and 259 losers. Volume was 1.23 billion shares valued at RM1.19 billion.

The ringgit weakened 0.06% to 3.0353 versus the US dollar, crude palm oil for the third month delivery rose RM15 per tonne to RM3,868, crude oil added 63 cents per barrel to US$87.57 while gold fell 95 cents per troy ounce to US$1,363.07.

At the regional markets, South Korea's Kospi tumbled 1.32% to 2,042.30, Taiwan's Taiex fell 1.30% to 8,993.39, Singapore's Straits Times Index lost 1.14% to 3,149.10, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index down 0.51% to 23,364.50, Japan's Nikkei 225 down 0.26% to 10,608.16 while the Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.03% to 2,798.22.

The sentiment at the Asian markets was also affected after HSBC said on Wednesday its Purchasing Managers' Index for the Chinese services sector fell to a 25-month low in January as new business growth slowed.

The PMI, which aims to provide a timely snapshot of conditions in industries from restaurants to computing, slid to 52.0 from 53.1 in December.

On Bursa Malaysia, banking stocks were among the major losers, with Hong Leong Financial Group down 17 sen to RM8.89, AMMB 11 sen to RM6.49, Hong Leong Bank and RHB Capital eight sen each to RM9.23 and RM8.37, Public Bank four sen to RM13.46, while CIMB and Maybank shed two sen each to RM8.37 and RM8.76.

KLK fell 46 to RM22.10.'' RHB Research Institute trimmed its forecasts by 8.1%-9.6% for FY09/11-13.

Genting and MTD Capital fell 20 sen each to RM10.54 and RM10.50, Litrak fell 13 sen to RM3.51, SapuraCrest 11 sen to RM3.54 and DFZ Capital 10 sen to RM3.73.

Gainers this morning included UMW that rose 18 sen to RM7.43, BLD PLANTATION []s 16 sen to RM5.39, while PacificMas, Chin Teck and Naim added 15 sen each to RM4.90, RM8.85 and RM3.74 respectively.

Hong Leong Industries, QL Resources, New Hoong Fatt and Tradewinds gained 12 sen each to RM5.76, RM3.28, RM2.46 and RM7.70 respectively, while Shell added 10 sen to RM10.70.

Karambunai was the most actively traded counter with 45.37 million shares done. The stock was unchanged at 26 sen.

Other actives this morning included Ho Wah Genting, Talam, Olympia and SAAG.

Meanwhile Tanco, which was also among the actives with 33.1 million shares done, was queried by Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd over the over unusual market activity in the trading of its shares.

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