KLCI erases gains at 11th hour, closes 0.13% lower

KLCI erases gains at 11th hour, closes 0.13% lower
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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 12): The FBM KLCI has erased the gains it made earlier in the day to close 0.13% lower today, weighed by losses in index-linked plantation stocks.

At 5pm, the benchmark index fell 2.12 points or 0.13% to close at 1,663.20 points, marking its second consecutive day of decline.

The index was dragged by losses in plantation stocks such as IOI Corp Bhd, PPB Group Bhd and Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd.

The decline in plantation stocks followed the release of CIMB Investment Bank Bhd's note to clients this morning, which stated that it expected weaker third quarter earnings for companies in the sector, due to lower crude palm oil (CPO) prices.

"We expect near-term CPO prices of RM2,100–RM2,500 per tonne and maintain our average CPO price forecast of RM2,230 per tonne for 2015 and RM2,450 for 2016. We maintain our 'neutral' sector rating, with a preference for First Resources, Astra Agro and Genting Plantations," said the research house.

It added that the inventory numbers released by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) yesterday were higher than expected, which did not bode well for the commodity's prices.

Across the board, a total of 2.14 billion shares worth RM1.85 billion were traded. Gainers beat decliners with 476 versus 409, while 353 counters were unchanged.

The gainers were led by Tien Wah Press Holdings Bhd, while Petronas Dagangan Bhd led the decliners. The most active stock was Instacom Group Bhd.

Regionally, Japan's Nikkei gained 0.03%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 2.4%, while South Korea's Kospi fell 0.2%.

Reuters reported that Asian shares reversed earlier losses on Thursday as crude oil prices pulled away from their deep overnight lows, while the Australian dollar grabbed the spotlight and surged after a much-stronger-than-expected employment report.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up about 0.7%, erasing its early modest losses.

(Note: The Edge Research’s fundamental score reflects a company’s profitability and balance sheet strength, calculated based on historical numbers. The valuation score determines if a stock is attractively valued or not, also based on historical numbers. A score of 3 suggests strong fundamentals and attractive valuations.)