Investors take profit, Proton up

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KUALA LUMPUR: All key Asian markets fell in early trade on April 21, dragged down by the overnight close on Wall Street, giving investors an excuse to lock in gains after the multi-week run-up. However, Proton and DRB-Hicom bucked the trend at Bursa Malaysia, driven by fresh expectations of Proton's divestment of Proton Edar to EON, which is majority-owned by DRB-Hicom. At 10am, the KL Composite Index was down 5.51 points to 962.86. Turnover was 258.82 million shares valued at RM185.9 million. There were 75 gainers, 251 losers and 81 counters unchanged. Among key Asian markets, the Nikkei 225 fell 3.35% to 8,625.69, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index opened 4% down at 15,125.34 and Singapore’s Straits Times Index lost 3.15% to 1,815.75. HwangDBS Vickers Research said since the local stock market was already hovering in an overbought territory following its multi-week run-up, investors naturally would be on the lookout for excuses to take profit. “And excuses there will be for investors to be in the mood to sell today,” it said in a research note on April 21. Overnight, key stock indices in the US fell between 3.6% and 4.3% at the closing bell, weighed down mainly by financial and commodity shares. Concerns about the health of the U.S. banks have resurfaced amid the ongoing corporate reporting season. Crude oil price fell 8.8% to US$45.88 per barrel overnight and the decline was expected to put pressure on crude palm oil price, taking a hit on the share prices of plantation companies , which have gone up lately, as a result. “Technically speaking, we believe the key KLCI will pull back from the 970 resistance level, possibly retreating toward its first support line of 930 ahead,” it said. Among the decliners were Tanjong and Bursa which fell 20 sen each to RM14.20 and RM5.85 while also down 20 sen were LPI and Petronas Dagangan to RM9.80 and RM7.70. Public Bank fell 15 sen to RM8.35, SP Setia 12 sen to RM3.18 while down 10 sen each were DiGi, Tenaga and Public Bank foreign to RM22, RM7.10 amd RM8.35 respectively. Proton rose the most, adding 17 sen to RM3.16 while DRB-Hicom rose nine sen to RM1.17 on fresh corporate news that Proton would divest Proton Edar to Edaran Otomobil Nasional. MMC Corp rose 16 sen to RM1.89. Kumpulan Euro 6.5 sen to 27.5 sen while PLUS, BHIC and Swee Joo gained four sen to RM3.12, RM3.06 and 59 sen respectively. Talam added one sen to 6.5 sen.