KLCI ends lower as oil price drop dents sentiment

KLCI ends lower as oil price drop dents sentiment
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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 28): The FBM KLCI closed down 3.41 points or 0.21% today while Bursa Malaysia's energy index fell by a larger magnitude as lower crude oil prices hit shares of oil and gas companies here after US said its crude oil output rose to a record high.

At Bursa, the KLCI finished at 1,583.77 as KLCI stocks including Petronas Dagangan Bhd and Genting Bhd fell. They were among Bursa top decliners while the energy index fell 10.84 points or 0.89% to 1,205.22.

Analysts said investors appeared to window dress their portfolios before the year ends. “Traders could look into index (KLCI) heavyweights amid window dressing activities in the month of December. The KLCI may trade within a range of 1,580-1,620,” Hong Leong Investment Bank Bhd head of retail research Loui Low told theedgemarkets.com today.

Globally, crude oil prices fell on Thursday, extending losses from the previous session after official data showed US crude and gasoline stocks rose against expectations as production hit a record, Reuters reported.

It was reported that Brent crude futures were down 18 cents, or 0.3%, at US$63.88 a barrel by 0517 GMT, having dropped 0.3% on Wednesday. It was reported that US West Texas Intermediate crude fell 24 cents, or 0.4%, to US$57.87, after falling 0.5% in the previous session.

"Crude stockpiles in the US swelled 1.6 million barrels last week as production hit a record high of 12.9 million barrels per day (bpd) and refinery runs slowed, the Energy Information Administration said. Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast a drop of 418,000 barrels. More bearish was a 5.1 million-barrel rise in gasoline stocks, compared with forecasts for a 1.2 million-barrel gain," Reuters reported.

Across Bursa today, turnover stood at 2.13 billion shares worth RM1.44 billion. Top decliners included Genting Bhd subsidiary Genting Plantations Bhd while most-active stocks included oil and gas support services provider Bumi Armada Bhd.

Genting Plantations' share price closed down 16 sen or 1.51% at RM10.44 today after the company said yesterday net profit fell to RM17.96 million in the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2019 (3QFY19) from RM23.51 million a year earlier. For 9MFY19, Genting Plantations said cumulative net profit was lower at RM80.39 million from RM150.63 million a year earlier.

Today, Affin Hwang Investment Bank Bhd analyst Nadia Aquidah said in a note that Genting Plantations’ 9MFY19 core net profit declined 42.2% to RM77.5 million, accounting for 53.4% and 48% of Affin Hwang's and consensus FY19 forecasts respectively.

"This is below our expectation mainly due to the lower-than-expected contribution from the upstream plantation division," Nadia said.