KLCI dips on China data

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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 4): The FBM KLCI fell marginally in line with Asian markets, after China's consumer inflation touched a five-year low in January, fuelling disinflation concerns.

At the 5pm close, the KLCI tumbled 0.03% or 0.04 points to settle at 1,811.12 points. The local benchmark index had risen to a high of 1,816.62 points in evening trades today.

Areca Capital director Danny Wong told theedgemarkets.com that upside for blue chip counters upside were capped while mid-cap oil and gas counters showed potential for further rise.

“The market has been sold down in the past six months, affected by the dip of oil prices,” he said.

However, oil prices have sustained above US$57 a barrel lately and “This is a sign of [oil prices] rebounding,” he said.

Benchmark Brent oil climbed to a high of US$57.91 on Feb 3 and has remained above US$54 ever since, data compiled by Bloomberg showed. It was traded at US$ 57.68 a barrel at the time of writing.

As the holiday season is approaching, Wong said that there would be less volume seen in the market.

The local bourse saw 2.47 billion shares worth some RM2.29 billion traded today, with gainers outnumbering losers at 434 over 373. About 324 counters remained unchanged.

Perisai Petroleum Teknologi Bhd was the most active stock today, alongside other oil and gas related counters like TH Heavy Engineering Bhd and Daya Materials Bhd. Perisai closed 16.98% or 9 sen higher at 62 sen today.

Top gainers included British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd, TAHPS Group Bhd, Heaveaboard Bhd, Scientex Bhd, Asia File Corporation Bhd and Aeon Credit Service (M) Bhd.

Top decliners were Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, V.S. Industry Bhd, P.I.E. Industrial Bhd, RHB Capital Bhd, Genting Plantations Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, UMS Holdings Bhd and Lii Hen Industries Bhd.

The ringgit weakened to 2.6443 against the Singapore dollar, after a two-day rally. For comparison, the local currency has also weakened to 3.5792 versus a strengthening US dollar.

Nikkei 225 dropped 0.33% while Korea’s Kospi Index shed 0.57%.

Reuters said that Asian equities were lower across the board on Tuesday as nervousness over Greece potentially withdrawing from the euro and escalating conflict in Ukraine sapped risk appetite, while the dollar lost steam after its payrolls-inspired rally.

Chinese data offered little help to risk assets, as signs of weakness in the world's second largest economy were reinforced by inflation hitting a five-year low. On the flip side, mounting concern over the slowdown should increase prospects for further stimulus, it added.