KLCI slumps 2.35% as bears take control

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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 1): The FBM KLCI fell 2.35% at the midday break on Monday, its worst one-day performance in 22 months, with the rout led by the losses at Petronas-linked stocks as well as other oil and gas industry players.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI fell 41.99 points to 1,778.90. The index had earlier fallen to its intra morning low of 1,778.24.

Market breadth was negative as losers thumped gainers by 901 to 61, while 136 counters were traded unchanged. Volume was 1.54 billion shares valued at RM1.19 billion.

The top losers included Petronas Gas Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd, Nestle (M) Bhd, Hong Leong Capital Bhd, UMW Oil and Gas Corporation Bhd, Coastal Contracts Bhd, Sarawak Oil Palms Bhd and SapuraKencana Petroleum Bhd.

Bumi Armada Bhd was the most actively traded counter with 53 million shares done. The stock fell 11.30% or 13 sen to RM1.02.

The other actives included Sumatec Resources Bhd, SapuraKencana Petroleum Bhd, Dialog Group Bhd, KNM Group Bhd, AirAsia X Bhd, Malaysian Airline System Bhd and AirAsia Bhd.

The top gainers included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Panasonic Malaysia Manufacturing Bhd, AirAsia Bhd, United Plantations Bhd, Pestech International Bhd and Top Glove Corporation Bhd.

At the regional markets, gold prices tumbled on Monday after Swiss voters overwhelmingly rejected proposals to boost gold reserves in a referendum, joining the broad rout in commodities that sent oil prices to five-year lows and copper to four-year lows, according to Reuters.

Sinking oil and commodity prices are causing massive realignments in markets, hurting assets tied to the resource sector, from Australian mining shares to the Malaysian ringgit, while benefiting importers such as Japan and China, it said.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.0 percent, with resource-heavy Australian shares hitting a six-week low, said Reuters.

Hong Leong IB Research said it expects another volatile week with index likely to hover within 1,800-1,832 levels

“Global banks stimulus and expectations of year-end window dressing are likely to support index at 1,800,” it said.