SapuraKencana drags KLCI lower

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 6): The FBM KLCI fell 1.07 points or 0.1% as investors sold SapuraKencana Petroleum Bhd shares in anticipation of the company's asset impairment.

At 5pm, the KLCI closed at 1,717.01. The index erased gains after reaching an intraday high at 1,722.75.

SapuraKencana shares fell 13 sen or 7% to settle at RM1.77. The stock had earlier reached an intraday low of RM1.74.

At 5pm, SapuraKencana, the fourth most-active stock on Bursa Malaysia, saw some 47 million shares traded.

A fund manager told theedgemarkets.com that besides crude oil prices, investors could be anticipating SapuraKencana might register "impairment of assets for the next few quarters".

He said this was because SapuraKencana had bought oil and gas assets when crude oil was traded higher at about US$100 a barrel. Crude oil prices have fallen to some US$40 a barrel now.

theedgemarkets.com could not reach SapuraKencana president and group chief executive officer Tan Sri Shahril Shamsuddin for comment at the time of writing.

From a broader viewpoint on the KLCI, analysts said the index could have taken the cue from weaker US and European markets.

JF Apex senior analyst Lee Cherng Wee said: "The main catalyst for the KLCI's weak performance today was the US and European markets, which were both in the red overnight."

"I don't think concerns on the slowdown in China's economy were a direct catalyst as the market has factored that in for quite some time already," Lee told theedgemarkets.com.

Bursa Malaysia saw 1.6 billion shares valued at RM1.95 billion traded.

There were 359 gainers and 434 decliners.

Top gainers included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd and Malaysian Bulk Carriers Bhd.

Leading decliner was Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd. The most-active counter was AirAsia Bhd.

Across regional share markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 was down 0.11% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.15%.

Reuters reported that Asian stocks held near three-week lows today as concerns about the underlying strength of the Chinese economy dogged investors while oil prices jumped by 2% on growing hopes a global output freeze may materialise soon.