Thursday, August 25, 2011

Banks, blue chips drag KLCI lower

KUALA LUMPUR: Losses at banking and blue chip stocks dragged the FBM KLCI lower on Thursday, Aug 25, while most key Asian markets closed higher and European markets opened strongly.

At key Asian and European markets, investors took an optimistic view of how strongly the Federal Reserve will commit to supporting the economy at a gathering this week, according to Reuters.

Fed chief Ben Bernanke is due to address central bankers at an annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on Friday. His speech last year laid the groundwork for the Fed's US$600 billion bond-buying program, to revive the US economy.

While much doubt Bernanke will immediately commit to conducting the third round of quantitative easing, or QE3, investors generally expect him to stress that the central bank stands ready to act if necessary, said Reuters.

The FBM KLCI fell 4.41 points to 1,464.74, weighed by losses at RHB Capital, CIMB, Axiata and Maybank.

Losers beat gainers by 429 to 240, while 311 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 833.92 million shares valued at RM2.02 billion.

At the regional markets, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 2.92% to 2,615.26, Japan's Nikkei 25 added 1.54% to 8,772.36, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index gained 1.47% to 19,752.48, South Korea's Kospi edged up 0.56% to 1,764.58 and Singapore's Straits Times Index rose 1.69% to 2,765.74.

Meanwhile, Taiwan's Taiex fell 1.23% to 7,410.87.

On Bursa Malaysia, RHB Capital was the top loser and lost 58 sen to RM8.32; CIMB fell 35 sen to RM7.25, Maybank one sen to RM8.73, F&N 32 sen to RM16.50, Axiata 22 sen to RM4.62, Far East 20 sen to RM7, Rapid 18 sen to RM1.61 and Perak Corp 17 sen to RM1.19.

Among the gainers, BAT added 98 sen to RM44.48, Petronas Dagangan 40 sen to RM17.60, Genting 26 sen to RM9.78, PPB 22 sen to RM17.10, Genting PLANTATION []s 20 sen to RM7.24, KLK and DiGi 16 sen each to RM21.48 and RM30.10, Nestle and EPIC 12 sen each to RM48.13 and RM3.05, while Kian Joo added 11 sen to RM2.08.

CIMB was the most actively traded counter with 55.55 million shares done.

Other actives included Axiata, Telekom, DVM, Maybank, AirAsia, HWGB, MUI and Sime Darby.

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