KLCI falls 8pts on Sime Darby, profit taking

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 23): The FBM KLCI fell eight points or 0.5% on Sime Darby Bhd share losses and as investors took profit after the index's recent gains.

Overnight US share market losses could have also dictated the Malaysian stocks today. At 5pm, the KLCI closed at 1,683.07 points after falling to its intraday low at 1,680 points

Yesterday (Aug 22), the KLCI rose 3.39 points.

Today, Sime Darby shares fell 34 sen to RM7.80 with some 14 million units traded. The stock fell after the diversified group said net profit dropped to RM2.41 billion in financial year ended June 30, 2016 from RM2.43 billion a year earlier.

Sime Darby also said it might raise about RM2.38 billion from a planned placement of 316.35 million new shares at an indicative RM7.51 each. The move is expected to expand the group's issued share base, hence, anticipation of earnings per share dilution.

Analysts said the KLCI could be ripe for profit taking. JF Apex Securities Bhd research head Lee Chung Cheng said the index's decline was mainly due to profit taking as well as overnight losses in US share markets.

"It (KLCI) is mostly on the downside today due to profit taking. Moving forward, I think the market will still move sideways as there is no clear directions at the moment.

"The market still lacks the positive catalyst at this point of time," Lee said.

Bursa Malaysia saw 1.84 billion shares worth RM1.74 billion traded.

Decliners outnumbered gainers at 579 against 263 respectively.

Top gainer was EITA Resources Bhd while Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd was the leading decliner.

AirAsia X Bhd was the most actively-traded stock.

Across Asian share markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.61% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1.02 points.

Reuters reported that Asia shares inched up on Tuesday while oil fell for a second session as investors awaited clues on whether the Federal Reserve will raise US interest rates this year.