Monday, September 5, 2011

Asian markets extend losses, KLCI falls the least

KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI fell the least among key regional markets at mid-day on Monday, Sept 5 as the HSBC Purchasing Managers' Index for China's services sector slowed to a historical low in August, indicating moderating growth in the economic giant.

The Asian markets kicked off the week in the red as a string of worrying data in the US that pointed to a growing fear of recession, dragging Wall Street down more than 2.2% last Friday.

Regional markets also appeared rattled by World Bank President Robert Zoellick's ''warning last ''Saturday the world economy was stepping into a "new danger zone" as growth slows and investor confidence weakens.

The FBM KLCI shed 3.40 points to 1,470.69 at the mid-day break, weighed by losses including at CIMB, Genting and Axiata.

Losers led gainers by 417 to 154, while 225 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 283.67 million shares valued at RM594.89 million.

The ringgit weakened 0.25% to 2.9711 versus the US dollar; crude palm oil futures for the third month delivery fell RM16 per tonne to RM3,027, crude oil slipped 62 cents per barrel to US$85.83 while gold fell US$6.38 an ounce to US$1,876.50.

At the regional markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.86% to 8,784.16, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index lost 2.17% to 19,775.01, the Shanghai Composite Index down 1.63% to 2,486.99, Taiwan's Taiex fell 2.45% to 7,566.73, South Korea's Kospi lost 2.93% to 1,813.07 and Singapore's Straits Times Index down 2.5% to 2,772.01.

OSK Research director Chris Eng in a note Sept 5 said that with the 2Q2011 results season being the worst since 1Q2009, the Upgrade to Downgrade ratio dropped to a low of 0.38 times, a level last seen in 2008 when the world was in a recession.

Eng said that while there were yet to be confirmed signs of a recession, the earnings downgrades this 2Q cut the research house's earnings growth forecasts by between 1% to 3% to 14.6% for 2011 and 11.4% for 2012.

'Our KLCI year-end target is cut from 1,557 points to 1,533 pts but our 2012 KLCI fair value is maintained intact at 1,466 points.

'We continue to see risk in the 3Q2011 earnings season given global uncertainties and the potential for companies to report provisions in times of market uncertainties. Remain generally defensive,' he said.

Among the decliners on Bursa Malaysia, Cepco fell 38 sen to RM1.80, Uzma down 19 sen to RM1.71, Panasonic 18 sen to RM22.90, KESM and Genting 15 sen each to RM1.85 and RM9.50, BAT 14 sen to RM43.66, Tradewinds 13 sen to RM9, United Malacca 10 sen to RM7, YTL Cement nine sen to RM4.60, CIMB eight sen to RM7.32 and Axiata two sen to RM4.68.

Gainers were led by DiGi that added 34 sen to RM31.60; Turiya gained 16.5 sen to 66.5 sen, Utusan up 13 sen to 88 sen, CI Holdings 13 sen to RM4.60, Amway 11 sen to RM9, while Bumi Armada, APM Automotive and E&O added eight sen each to RM3.67, RM4.90 and RM1.68 respectively.

The actives included E&O, Axiata, CIMB, Denko, Takaso, Iris Corp, Petronas Chemicals and DVM.

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