KUALA LUMPUR (June 18): The FBM KLCI fell 8.74 points or 0.5% to finish at 1,718.12, mainly on losses in Tenaga Nasional Bhd shares.
Tenaga shed 56 sen or 4% to close at RM12.60 to become the biggest decliner on the exchange on news the state-owned utility would buy a 70% stake in Malaysia's 3B power plant project from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
Jupiter Securities chief market strategist Benny Lee said "the market may be reacting to news that Tenaga will buy 1MDB's 70% stake in project 3B".
“There are also external factors, such as the weak ringgit, and continued foreign selling in the market that caused the decrease in market points today,” Lee told theedgemarkets.com.
Overall, Bursa Malaysia saw 1.45 billion shares valued at RM1.97 billion traded. There were 380 gainers against 369 decliners while 337 counters remained unchanged.
Top gainers included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd and Top Glove Corporation Bhd. Besides Tenaga, other major decliners included MISC Bhd and Genting Bhd.
The most actively-traded stock was AirAsia Bhd with about 97 million shares changing hands.
Across regional share markets, Japan's Nikkei fell 1.13% while South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.34%. In China, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.22% while Shanghai Composite dropped 3.7%
Reuters reported that China stocks tumbled on Thursday, led by banking heavyweights, as 11 companies launched IPOs, putting pressure on market liquidity.
In currency markets, the ringgit strengthened to 3.7050 against the US dollar in anticipation that US interest rates will rise later than expected.
Reuters reported that emerging Asian currencies rallied on Thursday as the Federal Reserve signalled that the US central bank may raise interest rates more slowly than markets had expected, helping the region maintain the attractiveness of higher yields in the short term.