KLCI closes in the red as banking stocks drag, while investors gauge windfall tax concerns

KLCI closes in the red as banking stocks drag, while investors gauge windfall tax concerns
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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 14): The FBM KLCI fell for the third straight day to close 14.62 points or 0.93% lower at 1,555.51, dragged by decline in banking stocks and as investors gauged the possibility of a windfall tax being levied on corporate Malaysia.

The benchmark index earlier was down as much as 21.24 points or 1.35% on profit-taking, before rebounding in choppy trades in the final minutes of trading.

Decliners were led by Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Bhd (down 3.96% or 23 sen to RM5.58), AMMB Holdings Bhd (down 3.69% or 12 sen to RM3.13) and Supermax Corp Bhd (down 3.3% or nine sen to RM2.64).

“The market has shot up quite a bit in recent weeks, so any rumour will be taken as an opportunity for profit-taking,” said HLIB Research head of retail research Ng Jun Sheng, when contacted.

“There could also be some portfolio adjustment this week ahead of the quadruple witching day this Friday,” Ng added.

Overall, most KLCI component stocks settled in the red today. The few gainers were led by Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (up 1.52% or 10 sen to RM6.70), Nestle (M) Bhd (up 0.6% or 80 sen to RM134.80), and MISC Bhd (up 4 sen or 0.58% to RM7).

Earlier this afternoon, the government issued a copy of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on political stability and transformation that was inked with the Pakatan Harapan opposition, which confirmed it is looking into an interest-free loan moratorium through 4Q2021 for Malaysians in the bottom 50% income bracket.

The Parliament session on its second day today also underlined the second reading of the Windfall Profit Levy (Amendment) Bill 2020 by the Minister of Finance, in its Order Paper published today.

Across Bursa Malaysia, trading volume rose from the day before to 4.66 billion shares, with a turnover of RM3.01 billion.

Market breadth was negative with 715 counters in decline, as opposed to 339 counters in the green, while 425 counters traded unchanged. Among the indices, only the Bursa Malaysia Technology Index closed in the green with a 0.8% gain.

Across the local bourse, leading the decliners were Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd (down 42 sen or 2.02% to RM20.42), Hong Leong Bank Bhd (down 34 sen or 1.81% to RM18.46), and Aeon Credit Service (M) Bhd (down 28 sen or 2.31% to RM11.82).

Nestle led gainers, followed by D&O Green Technologies Bhd (up 40 sen or 7.77% to RM5.55) and Daibochi Bhd (up 30 sen or 12.55% to RM2.69), which its majority shareholder Scientex Bhd is planning to take private.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 1.21%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.73%. Also up was Singapore’s STI (by 0.22%) and the Jakarta Composite Index (by 0.67%).

Reuters reported that Asia's share markets were mixed and the US dollar held steady on Tuesday, with investors awaiting US inflation data for more clues on when the Federal Reserve will taper stimulus.

Tan Choe Choe