FBM KLCI down on 11th-hour profit taking; ringgit weakens

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KUALA LUMPUR (May 15): The FBM KLCI dropped 2.22 points or 0.1% after investors took profit in the final trading minutes.

Investors took profit following the KLCI's rise as they evaluated Malaysia's outlook after Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad-led Pakatan Harapan's win in the country's 14th General Election.  
 
At 5pm today, the KLCI ended at 1,848.20 points after investors sold KLCI-linked Public Bank Bhd shares at the 11th hour. Public Bank shares fell 80 sen to close at RM24 to become Bursa Malaysia's third-largest decliner. The KLCI had also declined on losses in stocks including YTL Corp Bhd and Genting Bhd.

The KLCI closed lower after rising to its intraday high at 1,860.59 points today. Yesterday, the KLCI climbed 3.91 points to 1,850.42 points.

Today, Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd head of research Pong Teng Siew told theedgemarkets.com: “Investors were doing some last-minute profit taking. The breadth in the market was turning negative today although the index (KLCI) was up at the earlier part. However, towards closing, we have more down stocks than up stocks."

Across Bursa Malaysia, decliners led gainers by 501 to 455 respectively. A total of 4.31 billion shares worth RM4.45 billion were traded.

Malaysian shares fell with Asian equities. Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.21%, South Korea's Kospi lost 0.71% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 1.23%.

In Malaysia, Pong said there was pressure on Asian stock markets as investors anticipated a US interest rate hike. Such sentiment caused the US dollar to strengthen against global currencies. The ringgit weakened to 3.9562 against the US dollar at 5:47pm.

“Most of the regional (stock) markets were down today. Generally, markets in Asia were being pressured by expectation of the (US) rate hike, (the anticipation of which,) caused funds to flow back to US.