KLCI falls at 11th hour on CIMB; Ringgit weakens



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KUALA LUMPUR (June 2): The FBM KLCI fell minutes before market close on heavy selling in CIMB Group Holdings Bhd shares amid a decline across Asian equity markets. The ringgit weakened against a stronger US dollar.

Reuters reported that the dollar ascended to a new 12½-year peak against the yen on Tuesday, while Asian shares fell for a second day as the stronger greenback pressured commodity prices.

In Malaysia, the KLCI settled for a 2.04-point or 0.12% fall to close at 1,741.37. CIMB fell 17 sen or 3% to settle at its intraday low at RM5.46 as the bourse's eighth-largest decliner.

Some 12 million CIMB shares changed hands. Besides CIMB, the KLCI's decline also came on losses in stocks like Axiata Group Bhd.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.13%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 0.47% while South Korea’s Kospi declined 1.13%.

Earlier, the KLCI reached an intraday high of 1,746.49. A remisier attributed the rise in the index to higher crude oil prices, which supported oil and gas (O&G) stocks.

“Crude oil prices have come up slightly, which has supported gains in O&G stocks,” he said.

He, however, said there was no clear catalyst for the KLCI currently.

According to Bloomberg, Brent oil rose to US$65.62 a barrel today, while US oil gained to US$60.95.

Across Bursa Malaysia, the exchange saw 1.73 billion shares worth RM2.15 billion traded. Gainers beat decliners at 571 against 262.

Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd led gainers, while the top-active counter was Frontken Corp Bhd.

In currency markets, the ringgit weakened to 3.6985 against the US dollar at the time writing.

Earlier, the ringgit depreciated to its weakest intraday level at 3.7067.

Reuters reported that the US dollar appreciated after a spate of mostly upbeat US data reinforced expectations that the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates this year.