KUALA LUMPUR (July 29): The FBM KLCI closed marginally lower after vacillating between gains and losses, amid an uncertain Malaysian political environment and a lack of fresh market catalysts.
At 5pm, the KLCI fell 0.71 point to settle at 1,698.99. The index had earlier reached an intraday high of 1,702.36 and low of 1,696.72, as investors evaluated the impact of the Malaysian Cabinet reshuffle.
“There is a lack of catalysts for the local market, and investors are also a bit cautious due to the uncertainties surrounding the Malaysian political climate, after the recent developments,” a remisier told theedgemarkets.com.
Bursa Malaysia saw 1.36 billion shares, worth RM1.74 billion, exchanged today. There were 444 gainers against 371 decliners, while 312 counters were unchanged.
Leading the gainers was Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, while Shell Refining Co (Federation of Malaya) Bhd and Tenaga Nasional Bhd were among major decliners. The top-active stock was Ikhmas Jaya Group Bhd.
Tenaga Nasional, the seventh-largest decliner, fell 10 sen or 0.8% to close at RM12.14, with some 13 million shares done.
Tenaga fell after analysts said the state-controlled utility's proposed power plant deal with 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) could be value dilutive for the buyer.
Tenaga, which is scheduled to announce its third quarter results tomorrow (July 30), has submitted an indicative non-binding proposal to acquire five domestic and eight international power assets from 1MDB's unit, Edra Global Energy Bhd. For now, the prospect of a deal will be closely watched, especially following the Malaysian Cabinet reshuffle.
Across Asia, markets were mixed with Japan’s Nikkei 225 and South Korea’s Kospi down 0.13% and 0.07% respectively, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.47%.
According to Reuters, Asian shares clung to modest gains on Wednesday, on hopes Beijing could stem the rout in its markets without damage to the economy, while caution ruled elsewhere ahead of a policy decision from the U.S. Federal Reserve.