Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Banks, blue chips drag KLCI lower as sentiment remains shaky

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 20): The FBM KLCI fell on Tuesday, weighed by losses at banks and select blue chip counters as external uncertainties and some mild profit taking took a toll on the index.

At the close, the 30-stock index closed 12.61 points lower at 1,465.17.

Losers led gainers by 429 to 328, while 299 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.64 billion shares valued at RM1.24 billion.

Investor sentiment waned at regional markets and European stocks came under pressure on Tuesday after a euro zone plan to boost crisis funds parked with the IMF failed to reach a hoped-for target, though looming ECB funding for the region's banks lifted sentiment in some bond markets, according to Reuters.

At the regional markets, South Korea's Kospi rose 0.91% to 1,793.06, Japan's Nikkei added 0.49% to 8,336.48, Taiwan's Taiex gained 0.44% to 6,662.64 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index edged up 0.06% to 18,080.20.

Meanwhile, the Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.10% to 2,215.93 and Singapore's Straits Times Index was down 0.14% to 2,614.45.

Earlier, Standard & Poor's Rating Services in a report entitled "A Slowdown In Europe And China, And Sluggish Exports Moderate Asia-Pacific Credit Outlook In 2012" released on Tuesday said mounting challenges across the globe could severely test the resilience of sovereigns in Asia-Pacific.

'The uncertainty over sovereign debt and banking sector stability in the eurozone is by far the biggest of these challenges," it said.

However, it added that most banking systems in the region have strong retail deposit bases, which provide a buffer against volatility in wholesale funding markets."

At Bursa Malaysia, BAT was the top loser and fell RM1.40 to RM48; PPB lost 50 sen to RM16.70, Petronas Dagangan down 30 sen to RM17, Tradewinds PLANTATION []s 24 sen to RM4.31, Perak Corp 23 sen to RM1.11, Genting 18 sen to RM10.36 and MAHB 16 sen to RM5.46.

Among banks, HLFG lost 28 sen to RM11.42, CIMB 15 sen to RM6.90, AMMB 12 sen to RM5.70, Affin five sen to RM2.86 while Public Bank and Hong Leong Bank fell two sen each to RM13 and RM10.54.

Utopia was the most actively traded counter with 114.9 million shares done. The stock fell one sen to 9.5 sen.

Other actives included Astral Supreme, Maxbiz, JCY, Sanichi and Focus.

Meanwhile, the gainers included Aeon Credit, Jaya Tiasa, Panasonic, KAF, NSOP, Kawan Food and Dutch Lady.


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