Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Banks, plantations drag KLCI at mid-day break

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 15): The FBM KLCI remained in negative territory at the mid-day break on Wednesday, lagging key regional markets, weighed by losses at index-linked banking and PLANTATION [] counters.

The index fell 6.59 points to 1,559.46 at 12.30pm. Volume was 1.07 billion shares valued at RM826.89 million.

The ringgit strengthened 0.29% to 3.0368 versus the US dollar; crude palm oil futures for the third month delivery fell RM8 per tonne to RM3,198, crude oil gained 76 cents per barrel to US$101.50 while gold gained US$4.77 an ounce to US$1,724.95.

At the regional markets, Japan's Nikkei share average rallied more than 2% and the broader Topix rose above the 800 mark for the first time in six months on Wednesday after the Bank of Japan stepped up its asset buying programme the previous day, according to Reuters.

The Nikkei 225 rose 2.5% to 9,277.97, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added 1.97% to 21,330.60, the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.86% to 2,364.92, Taiwan’s Taiex rose 1.18% to 7,976.83, South Korea’s Kospi was up 0.97% to 2,022.07 and Singapore’s Straits Times Index added 0.71% to 3,008.63.

On Bursa Malaysia, Hartalega fell 32 sen to RM7.94, BAT down 28 sen to RM51.59, Petronas Dagangan lost 18 sen to RM18.60, Petronas Gas 12 sen to RM16.62, Warisan 10 sen to RM2.60 and Carlsberg nine sen to RM9.47.

Among banking stocks, Hong Leong Bank fell 10 sen to RM11.60, CIMB down three sen to RM7.28, HLFG two sen to RM11.64 while AMMB and Affin shed one sen each to RM6.11 and RM3.14.

Among the plantation counters, BLD Plantations lost 22 sen to RM10.02, United Plantations and KLK down eight sen each to RM22.30 and RM25.38, IOI Corp seven sen to RM5.42, PPB four sen to RM17.66 while Sime Darby shed three sen to RM9.61.

Naim Indah Corp was the most actively traded counter with 126.1 million shares done. The stock rose 2.5 sen to 50.5 sen.

Other actives included TMS, Dataprep, Perisai, Hibiscus, SAAG, Compugates and DBE Gurney.

Meanwhile, gainers included TSM, Hap Seng Plantations, Asdion, Shell, KYM, Inno, Jaya Tiasa, Apollo and Maybulk.

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