Monday, 19 December 2011

Asian markets fall on Eurozone fears, KLCI snaps winning streak

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 19): The FBM KLCI snapped its positive run on Monday, in line with the fall at key regional markets, on worries that credit ratings downgrades of some European countries could hamper any progress towards resolving the region’s debt crisis.

At mid-morning, the FBM KLCI fell 0.60 point to 1,465.62.

Losers edged gainers by 194 to 170, while 196 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 402.72 million shares valued at RM185.43 million.

Asian stocks fell on Monday on fears possible credit ratings downgrades of several European countries could derail progress towards resolving the euro zone's debt crisis, while the euro steadied after its worst weekly performance in three months, according to Reuters.

At the regional markets, Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.83% to 8,332.07, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index lost 1.63% to 17,986.54, the Shanghai Composite Index was down 1.53% to 2,190.89, Taiwan’s Taiex fell 1.74% to 6,667.36, Singapore’s Straits Times Index was down 1.54% 2,618.31 and South Korea’s Kospi lost 2.42% to 1,795.35.

Fitch Ratings had warned on Friday it may downgrade France and six other euro zone countries, saying a comprehensive solution to the region's debt crisis was "technically and politically beyond reach".

Fitch also revised the outlook on France's top-notch rating to negative, saying the downgrade was not imminent but could come in two years.

Maybank Investment Bank Bhd head of retail research and chief chartist Lee Cheng Hooi in a note to clients on Monday said the local market remained mildly positive despite the volatile global markets last week.

Some local institutional blue chip buying on Thursday and Friday led the index up in fairly lack lustre trading, he said.

The weaker support areas for the FBM KLCI are in the 1,424 to 1,460-zone. The next resistance levels of 1,466 and 1,511 will see heavy liquidation activities, he said.

Lee said the tone of the global indices was still unstable and that Eurozone worries on how to tame their debt crisis persisted, with Fitch stating that a comprehensive deal was “beyond reach”.

“There could still be inherent price volatility in the next week before the global markets wind-down for the Christmas and New Year holidays in late December,” he said.

Among the decliners at mid-morning, Carlsberg fell 20 sen to RM8.46, JT International lost 18 sen to RM6.76, JobStreet was down 15 sen to RM2.35, LPI Capital and F&N down 10 sen each to RM13.30 and RM18.26, Hartalega lost nine sen to RM5.52, while CCM, Keck Seng and Batu Kawan lost eight sen each to RM1.57, RM4 and RM17.28 respectively.

Meanwhile, gainers included BAT, Nestle, Amway, Bosutead, BHIC, Far East, SOP, Pintaras and Gamuda.

The actives included Wijaya, Boustead, Versatile, JCY and Utopia.

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