KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 3): The FBM KLCI remained in negative territory at the mid-day break on Friday, in line with the weaker regional markets.
At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI shed 3.02 points to 1,630.43. There were 238 gainers and 365 losers, while 315 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 492.17 million shares valued at RM546.98 million.
The ringgit fell for the second day and was down 0.26% to RM3.1350 versus the US dollar; crude palm oil (CPO) futures for the third month delivery fell RM29 per tonne to RM2,926; crude oil rose 32 US cents per barrel to US$87.45 (RM274.16); and gold added 88 US cents per barrel to US$1,589.50.
Asian shares and the euro fell on Friday as investors shunned risk after the European Central Bank (ECB) took no immediate action and only hinted at future steps to tackle the eurozone's fiscal woes, following similar inaction from the US Federal Reserve, according to Reuters. Investors also have reasons to be more cautious ahead of a key US non-farm payrolls data for July due at 1230 GMT, with job creation below the 100,000 forecast likely to boost hopes the Fed, which on Wednesday stood pat with its current monetary policy, would embark on further easing as early as next month, it said.
Further, Moody’s Analytics said in a report July 31 that the global economy will grow at rates below potential through the rest of the year, with Europe’s debt crisis remaining the largest threat to the global recovery. "Asian emerging economies will contribute less to growth as China and India negotiate soft landings, while Latin American policymakers have scope to add fiscal and monetary stimulus," it said.
Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund in its Online Survey magazine on Thursday said the US recovery continued to be tepid. "At the same time, risks have intensified, including from the worsening of the euro area crisis as well as the uncertainty over domestic fiscal plans," it said.
At the regional markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.24% to 8,545.82; Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index lost 0.91% to 19,510.60; Taiwan's Taiex lost 0.96% to 7,198.44; South Korea's Kospi fell 0.91% to 1,852.36; and Singapore's Straits Times Index shed 0.11% to 3,032.80. Meanwhile, the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.40% to 2,119.58.
On Bursa Malaysia, among the losers PPB dropped 30 sen to RM14.60. MMHE lost 23 sen to RM5.15; Hing Yap and Quality Concrete were down 15 sen each to RM2.80 and RM1.21 respectively; SAM Engineering, Aeon and PetGas fell 10 sen each to RM3.20, RM9.70 and RM19.14 respectively; Ta Ann and RHB Capital declined nine sen each to RM4.46 and RM7.16 respectively; HS Plantations retreated eight sen to RM3.02.
Patimas was the most actively-traded counter, with 64.9 million shares done. The stock was unchanged at 3.5 sen. Other actives included Iris Corp, Borneo Oil, Asia Media, Biosis, L&G, and FGV. Gainers included F&N, Warisan, United Plantations, Oriental, Aeon Credit, Public Bank, Fiamma and Dutch Lady.