Thursday, November 10, 2011

Italy's crisis hammers markets, KLCI dn 18pts

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 10): Italy's escalating crisis hammered key regional markets, especially Hong Kong where its benchmark index fell 4.5% while Bursa Malaysia was also not spared on Thursday.

At midday, the penny stocks which attracted huge speculative interest over the week, seemed to be holding on to much of their gains despite the fall in blue chips.

A sharper decline in market sentiment could have an adverse impact as margin calls kick in. While interest waned slightly among the recent penny stocks, traders shifted their interest to others like Iris, Patimas, Trinity and SAAG.

However, investors would have to watch how the European bourses fare when they opened later this afternoon. ''Of concern would be the huge volume of shares traded, among the highest at midday in recent months.

At 12.30pm, the KLCI was down 18.22 points or 1.22% to 1,471.42. Turnover was 1.62 billion shares valued at RM710.23 million. There were 169 gainers to 252 losers while 173 stocks were unchanged.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index fell 4.5% or 896.9 points to end the morning session at 19,117.5, weighed by the fall in HSBC and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China.

Japan's Nikkei 225 lost 2.67% to 8,521.81, South Korea's Kospi 3.77% to 1,835.60 and Singapore's Straits Times Index 3.02% to 2,772.23.

At Bursa Malaysia, Hibiscus fell 1.5 sen to 76.5 sen but its warrants edged up one sen to 48 sen, Harvest Court Industries was down four sen to RM1.40 and the warrants, eight sen lower to RM1.18, Emico shed one sen lower at 38.5 sen after its price doubled on Wednesday before trading was halted.

Among the blue chips, BAT fell 56 sen to RM46.04 and Nestle 50 sen to RM49 while Dutch Lady gave up 18 sen to RM20.82 and Panasonic Malaysia 16 sen to RM19.20.

PPB lost 38 sen to RM1676, KLK 20 sen to RM20.84, HLFH 26 sen to RM11.62 and Genting 20 sen to RM10.80. Tenaga, which saw its outlook downgraded by Standards and Poor's, fell 16 sen to RM5.76.

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