KUALA LUMPUR: Key Asian markets retreated at the midday break on April 15 after US retail sales fell while at Bursa Malaysia, Public Bank fell the most after releasing its first quarter earnings the previous day as investors took profit. However, crude palm oil futures rose RM26 to RM2,464 while light crude oil fell 13 cents to US$49.28. At Bursa Malaysia, the KL Composite Index fell 4.04 points or 0.42% to 949.67. Turnover was million shares valued at . There were gainers, losers and counters unchanged. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 2.08% or 324 points to 15,256.15, Singapore’s Straits Times Index lost 2.05% to 1,858.04, Japan’s Nikkei 225 1.36% to 8,722.73. BAT fell the most, down 25 sen to RM45.75 but with 64,800 shares done. Public Bank foreign fell 20 sen to RM8.25 and Public Bank 15 sen to RM8.30. Other decliners were SCGM, down 16 sen to 54 sen, Magna also 16 sen lower at RM2.01, Huat Lai-WA 15 sen lower at five sen while Kamdar fell 12.5 sen to 22 sen and Box Pak 10.5 sen to 88.5 sen. Axiata-OR fell eight sen to 57 sen on the first trading day for the entitlement to the rights shares. Proton lost four sen to RM2.36. KNM was the most active with 68.6 million shares done, rising 1.5 sen to 51.5 sen. Companies involved in the Iskandar Malaysia region rose in active trade, with UEM Land rising two sen to 95.5 sen, Tebrau Teguh 1.5 sen to 50.5 sen, Mulpha unchanged at 36.5 sen but MRCB fell two sen to RM1.06. Stemlife rallied 16 sen to 89 sen but with 76,500 shares done. Smaller plantation players like Batu Kawan and Chin Tek added 15 sen each to RM8.35 and RM6.50.
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