KLCI flat after volatile trade; AirAsia falls



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KUALA LUMPUR (June 16): The FBM KLCI vacillated between gains and losses before ending flat as Greece debt and US interest rate hike concerns led to Asian share losses.

Reuters reported that Asian stocks slipped today as financial markets braced for the possibility of Greece defaulting on its debt. Markets were also cautious ahead of the start of a two-day meeting of the Federal Reserve later on Tuesday, the latest step towards the US central bank's first rise in interest rates in almost a decade.

Malaysia's KLCI closed a mere 0.08 point higher to finish at 1,722.24 at 5pm.

“The market is still cautious with the drop in big consumer names stocks, and with external factors such as the outcome from the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy meeting,” TA Securities Holdings Bhd technical chartist Stephen Soo, told theedgemarkets.com.

Across Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 1.1% while Japan's Nikkei fell 0.64%. South Korea’s Kospi dropped 0.67%.

Bursa Malaysia saw 1.53 billion shares valued at RM1.53 billion traded. There were 334 gainers against 500 decliners, while 297 counters remained unchanged.

Top gainers included Grand Hoover Bhd and Enra Group Bhd. Decliners included Allianz Malaysia Bhd and Amway (M) Holdings Bhd.

The most actively-traded stocks included IFCA MSC Bhd and AirAsia Bhd.

AirAsia was closely watched after its shares fell below the budget airline's book value of RM1.68 a share. The stock fell 15 sen or 8% to close at RM1.64 to become the fifth most-active stock across the bourse.

AirAsia shares declined after Hong Kong based GMT Research questioned its accounting, profit generation, cash flow, leverage and group structure. Group chief executive officer Tony Fernandes dismissed the report as garbage and said that he had met institutional investors to explain the issue.

An analyst with a local investment bank said that he saw value in AirAsia as its fundamentals were still strong.

“Cheap fuel helps a lot,” he told theedgemarkets. He said it was unlikely he would revise his “buy” call for the counter.