No respite for markets, Maybank at historic lows

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KUALA LUMPUR:  Maybank shares fell to fresh lows at midday on March 6 to RM4.70 while Asian markets extended their slide, with Japan sliding 2.7% as threat of a global recession loomed closer.

Malaysia's weakening exports data also weighed down investors' appetite for equities when January exports fell 27.8% to RM38.3 billion from RM53.04 billion a year ago as electrical and electronic (E&E) and crude petroleum exports fell.

At 12.30pm, the KL Composite Index was down 9.25 points to 859.99. Turnover was 123.6 million shares valued at RM177.98 million. Declining stocks hammered advancers 296 to 59 while 151 stocks were unchanged.

Among key Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell the most in percentage terms, down 2.7% to 7,232.54 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index lost 1.27% to 12,055.99 and Singapore's Straits Times Index 0.71% lower at 1,507.83. Shanghai's Composite Index fell 1.37% to 2,190.58.

Light crude oil rose 10 cents to US$43.71 while crude palm oil third-month futures fell RM8 to RM1,871. The ringgit was quoted at RM3.7205 to the US dollar.

Tanjong was the top loser, down 40 sen to RM14 while chip maker MPI lost 30 sen to RM5.20. BAT declined 25 sen to RM44.

Public Bank foreign slipped 20 sen to RM7.95, MISC foreign 15 sen to RM8.05 and Parkson 14 sen to RM3.36.

Maybank fell 12 sen to RM4.70 with 2.75 million shares done after announcing the pricing for its renounceable rights issue. TM International fell 10 sen to RM2.53.

Plantations were among the major gainers, with Riverview up 18 sen to RM1.99 and United Plantations 10 sen higher to RM10.80 and Sime Darby five sen higher to RM5.55. F&N rose five sen to RM7.60.