Market Close: KLCI falls 0.15%, blue chips among Bursa top decliners

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 3): The FBM KLCI fell 2.82 points or 0.15% to settle at 1,864.87 points as blue chip stocks fell among Bursa Malaysia's top decliners.

Danny Wong, CEO of Areca Capital, told theedgemalaysia.com that the KLCI was down due to index-linked stocks such as Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd and British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd (BAT).

BAT was among five KLCI stocks in Bursa Malaysia's top decliners' list, which included Petronas Gas Bhd and Petronas Dagangan Bhd.

Wong said the KLCI’s performance was still holding up despite disappointing results announced during the August financial reporting season.

“I think about 30% of the companies reported lower-than-expected results, while only about 10% to 15% of the companies reported higher-than-expected results,” he said.

Meanwhile, Wong said Bank Negara Malaysia's upcoming Monetary Policy Committee meeting on Sept 18, 2014, had cast some uncertainty over the market, as there is a possibility of another 25 basis points hike in the overnight policy rate (OPR).

“Only after the meeting will there be some clarity on the direction of the market,” Wong said.

Across Bursa Malaysia, a total of three billion shares, valued at RM2.1 billion were traded. Market breadth was negative with 455 decliners against 386 gainers, while 324 counters were unchanged.

The top decliner of the day was BAT which fell 90 sen to RM71.60, while the top gainer was Goh Ban Huat Bhd’s warrants (GBH-WA), which closed 33 sen higher at RM1.46.

The most-active counter was Globaltec Formation Bhd with a total of 259.0 million shares exchanged.

Across Asia, Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.38%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 2.3%, while South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.02%.

Reuters reported that upbeat Chinese services activity reports helped lift Asian shares on Wednesday, while the dollar was close to 14-month highs against a basket of major currencies after data underscored that the U.S. economy continues to gather gradual momentum.