KLCI flat as plantation, banking shares fall

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 30): The FBM KLCI erased earlier gains to end almost flat after investors dabbled in profit-taking activity. Asian stock markets fell.

The KLCI closed 0.03 points lower at 1,846.31 points as plantation shares like Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd and banking entity CIMB Group Holdings Bhd fell among Bursa Malaysia's major decliners.

JF Apex Securities Bhd analyst Lee Cherng Wee said the bulk of the trading volume today was made up of small-capitalisation stocks.

“We expect sideways movement for the KLCI for the week between 1,830 and 1,850 points,” Lee said.

Foreign investors were seen taking profit in the Malaysian stock market. Maybank Investment Bank Bhd head of research Wong Chew Hann said foreigners were net sellers in the local stock market last week.

Last week was the fourth consecutive week of net selling by foreign funds.

Today, Wong said the KLCI had been the weakest performing market under Maybank’s coverage. The KLCI is down 1.1% year-to-date.

Across Bursa Malaysia, 2.73 billion shares worth RM2.54 billion were traded. Decliners beat gainers at 455 against 355, while 332 counters were unchanged.

Goh Ban Huat Bhd, which is 64% owned by Tan Sri Robert Tan Hua Choon, and its warrant GBH-WA were among top decliners after the company announced that its planned reverse takeover of Dynac Sdn Bhd was terminated.

Leading gainer was United Plantations Bhd while Malayan United Industries Bhd was the most-active stock.

Across the region, Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.84%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1.28%.

Reuters reported that Asian markets were in hesitant mood on Tuesday as investors wondered what China's response would be to civil unrest in Hong Kong, while the U.S. dollar eased back a touch but was still on track for its biggest monthly gain in well over a year.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost 0.3 percent having already fallen sharply on Monday.