Thursday, November 3, 2011

More downside for markets, Greek worries weigh

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 3): European and key Asian markets fell on Thursday as chaos over Greece's role in the euro zone battered investors' sentiment while at Bursa Malaysia, it extended its losses for the third day, pushing the FBM KLCI to the lowest since Oct 25.

The FBM KLCI opened at the start of trade, but a sheer lack of buying support saw the index falling a few minutes later. It closed down 8.58 points to 1,462.37, with analysts viewing the 1,450 level to provide the immediate support.

Turnover was 1.76 billion shares but, most boosted by penny stocks, as total value was only RM1.14 billion. Declining stocks beat advancers 524 to 226 while 273 counters were unchanged.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed down 2.49% to 19,242.50 but the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.16% to a 1 1/2 month high of 2,508.09, underpinned by ample liquidity in the financial system and assurances the government would be flexible with macro-economic policy, Reuters said.

South Korea's Kospi fell 1.48% to 1,869.96, Taiwan's Taiex 1.82% to 7,460.31 and Singapore's Straits Times Index 0.87% to 2,910.04.

Reuters said Chaos over Greece's role in the euro zone battered equity markets and hit the euro on Thursday, swamping any residual support from the U.S. Federal Reserve's soothing comments less than 24 hours earlier.

The threat of a Greek exit from the euro hung over a meeting of G20 leaders after France and Germany made it clear that Athens must decide urgently whether it wants to stay in the 12-year-old currency bloc.

On the commodity front, US light crude oil fell 31 cents to US$92.20 but crude palm oil third-month futures rose RM11 to RM2,971. The ringgit weakened against the US dollar to 3.3.1475 from 3.1271.

At Bursa Malaysia, investors decided to stay on the sidelines as the Greece chaos dampened sentiment for riskier assets including equities.'' The adverse to risk was reflected in the top gainer of the day, GAB, chalking up only a 20 sen gain.

Among the finance stocks, HLFG fell the most, down 46 sen to RM11.48, CIMB 12 sen to RM7.19, Maybank six sen to RM8.22, Public Bank four sen to RM12.66.

Tenaga lost 14 sen to RM5.72, while Axiata gave up six sen to RM4.80 and Genting Malaysia four sen to RM3.38.

Among PLANTATION []s, Sarawak Oil Palms lost 29 sen to RM4.17, Batu Kawan 14 sen to RM15.80, IOI six sen to RM5.08 but KLK rose four sen to RM21.14.

Karambunai was the most active stock with 140.30 million shares done but speculative buying saw Harvest surging 14.5 sen to 64 sen and the warrants 13.5 sen to 58.5 sen.

Among the gainers were GAB and BAT, up 20 sen each to RM10.94 and RM46.20 and DiGi 18 sen to RM32.48 and Genting 10 sen to RM10.36.

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