KUALA LUMPUR (July 19): The FBM KLCI edged down at the close on Thursday, weighed by some mild profit taking after the recent rally that saw the index climb to its record high two days earlier.
The FBM KLCI closed 0.40 of a point lower at 1,644.60.
There were 389 gainers and 378 losers, while 357 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.11 billion shares valued at RM1.59 billion.
Asian shares rose on Thursday as strong corporate profits from U.S. bellwethers allayed fears of a slowdown in earnings, particularly for the beleaguered tech sector, while the euro steadied after overnight weakness, according to Reuters.
Data showing groundbreaking on new U.S. homes rose in June to its fastest pace in over three years also supported the market, after a series of recent reports had pointed to worrying signs that the economy was cooling, it said.
Meanwhile, European shares rose to 11-week highs on Thursday as strong U.S. corporate profits lifted sentiment, while signs of stress in the European debt market kept the single currency trading just above a two-year low, said Reuters.
Pressure also remains on the dollar after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke kept alive talk of more monetary easing in his latest remarks to the U.S. Congress, though he played down the risks of a double-dip recession, it said.
At the regional markets, the Shanghai Composite Index added 0.73% to 2,184.84, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 1.66% to 19,559.05, Japan’s Nikkei 225 added 0.79% to 8,795.55, South Korea’s Kospi was up 1.56% to 1,822.96, Taiwan’s Taiex rose 1.41% to 7,184.57 and Singapore’s Straits Times Index added 0.39% to 3,028.96.
On Bursa Malaysia, BAT led the losers and fell RM1.16 to RM56.72, F&N lost 32 sen to RM18.36, Pharmaniaga down 23 sen to RM9.99, Lafarge Malayan Cement 20 sen to RM7.80, Genting Plantations and Keck Seng down 17 sen each to RM9.49 and RM4.22, Batu Kawan 14 sen to RM18.26, Tasek 11 sen to RM9.63, while TDM and Oldtown fell 10 sen each to RM4.57 and RM1.92.
Cybertowers was the most actively traded counter with 53.6 million shares done. The stock fell six sen to 31 sen.
Other actives included Luster, GPRO, SapuraKencana, Globaltec, Axiata, Perisai, Metronic and DVM.
Gainers included United Plantations, Nestle, Allianz, Petronas Dagangan, Bursa, KGB, MNRB, Aeon and Deleum.