KLCI pares loss, ringgit at 9-year low

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KUALA LUMPUR (June 8): The FBM KLCI pared some of its loss at the midday break today while the ringgit fell to a nine-year low versus the US dollar.

The ringgit dropped to a nine-year low versus the US dollar, weakening to as low as RM3.7630 against the US dollar, as the dollar strengthened on better US nonfarm payrolls data.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was down 6.75 points to 1,738.58. The index had earlier fallen to its intra-morning low of 1,727.01.

Market breadth turned negative with losers outpacing gainers by 482 to 185 while 297 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 668.36 million shares valued at RM553.69 million.

The top losers included Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, KLCC Property Holdings Bhd, Batu Kawan Bhd, APM Automotive Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd and Tasek Corporation Bhd.

The actively included stocks included Hubline Bhd, Xinghe Holdings Bhd, Frontken Corporation Bhd, K-One Technology Bhd, APFT Bhd, Nexgram Holdings Bhd and IFCA MSC Bhd.

The top gainers included United U-Li Corporation Bhd, LTKM Bhd, KESM Industries Bhd, Panasonic Malaysia Manufacturing Bhd, KPJ Healthcare Bhd, Y&G Corporation Bhd and Signature International Bhd.

An index of Asian shares extended losses on Monday after Chinese imports declined more than expected, while the dollar was higher after upbeat US employment data raised bets that the US central bank would raise interest rates as early as September, according to Reuters.

China's exports fell less than expected last month, but imports tumbled at a greater pace, stoking concerns over a slowdown in the world's second largest economy and giving Beijing more reason to take further stimulus steps, it said.

BIMB Securities Research said that key regional markets also ended lower on Friday due to investors' concern on upcoming interest hike in the US.

The research house said that locally, the FBM KLCI ended higher, gaining 3.85 points to 1,745.33 on bargain hunting mostly on telco, property and plantation counters.

“Trading participation saw net selling by foreign institutions and local retail while local institutions were net buyers.

“The local market will remain bearish in the short term due to poor investor sentiment coupled with continuous selling by foreign institutions and expect the index to experience strong support at 1,740,” it said.