KUALA LUMPUR (March 11): The FBM KLCI fell 0.45% at the midday break on Wednesday as profit-taking amidst a bearish market and a weaker ringgit kept the local index lower throughout the morning session.
At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI fell 8.10 points to 1,781.63.
Losers outpaced gainers by 515 to 193, while 289 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.29 billion shares valued at RM981.25 million.
The ringgit continued to weaken against the greenback today, touching a six-year low of 3.7190 as the market anticipates the possibility of a US rate hike as early as mid-year. At 12.30pm, the ringgit was quoted at 3.7130.
The top losers included Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Berjaya Food Bhd, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, UMW Holdings Bhd and Public Bank Bhd.
The actively traded stocks included The Media Shoppe Bhd, Asia Bio Energy Technologies Bhd, Xinghe Holdings Bhd, Privasia Technology Bhd, Wintoni Group Bhd, Genetec Technology Bhd, Tiger Synergy Bhd and Nexgram Holdings Bhd.
The top gainers included LPI Capital Bhd, Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd, MISC Bhd, Globetronic Technology Bhd, Tasco Bhd, Panasonic Malaysia Manufacturing Bhd, LTKM Bhd, Press Metal Bhd and IJM Corporation Bhd.
Asian stocks fell to a two-month low on Wednesday as nervous markets recoiled on worries about an earlier U.S. interest rate hike, while such a prospect helped send the dollar to a 12-year high against the euro.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.3 percent after touching its lowest since January. Australian and South Korean shares each lost 0.5 percent and Malaysian and Indonesian stocks also declined.
BIMB Securities Research said key regional indexes also ended lower on Tuesday with Hong Kong and Shanghai stocks pulling back after data show China’s wholesale deflation worsened in February while Japan's Nikkei fell to a near two-week low in volatile trade following rumours about an interest rate hike.
Locally, the FBM KLCI also ended lower, shredded by 0.11% to 1,789.730, dragged down by telco and plantation counters.
“Trading participation saw net selling by foreign institutions and local retail while local institutions were net buyers.
“With the continuous news flow of interest hike in the U.S., we expect the local market to remain downtrend today with immediate support at 1,780/75,” it said.