Published: Tuesday April 17, 2012 MYT 5:50:00 PM

KLCI slips, weighed by losses in Maybank and Axiata

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian stock market, seen as a laggard compared with its regional peers in terms of performance, closed slightly lower on Tuesday, dragged by losses in Maybank and Axiata as sentiment was impacted by news from the Eurozone.

The FBM KLCI closed down 1.32 points or 0.08% to 1,596.19. Turnover was 2.08 billion shares valued at RM1.62bil. The broader market was mixed with 355 gainers to 341 losers while 351 counters were unchanged.

Among the key regional markets, Taiwan's Taiex was the worst hit, down 1.86% to 7,585.87, Shanghai's Composite Index lost 0.94% to 2,334.98, South Korea's Kospi 0.37% to 1,985.30, Singapore's Straits Times Index 0.26% to 2,984.35 and Japan's Nikkei 225 0.06% to 9,464.71.

Year-to-date, the KLCI is just up 4.28%, lagging behind Nikkei 225's 11.94%, Hang Seng Index's 11.54% and Singapore STI's 12.77%.

US light crude oil rose 72 cents to US$103.65 while the ringgit was firmer against the US dollar to 3.0655. Crude palm oil for third-month futures slipped RM3 to RM3,484.

News wire reports said Spain borrowing costs rose at a sale of one-year and 18-month bills for the first time since November while the government attempted to convince investors the country won't need a bailout.

Reports said Spain sold 12-month bills at 2.623%, up from 1.418% at the last auction on March 20, the Bank of Spain said in Madrid. The Treasury also sold 18-month bills at 3.11%, compared with 1.711% last month. The total amount sold was more than the 3 billion-euro maximum target set for the auction.

At Bursa Malaysia, Maybank fell four sen to RM8.81, dragging the KLCI down 0.722 of a point. Axiata fell three sen to RM5.36, pushing the index down another 0.59 of a point.

Dutch Lady fell the most, down 56 sen to RM34.60 and BAT 22 sen to RM54.46 while MISC gave up 13 sen to RM5.17.

SMPC fell 21 sen to RM1.12, SMPC-OR down 30 sen to 19.5 sen and SNOC-LR 2.4 sen to 2.5 sen. The rights shares and loan rights started trading on Tuesday.

Ariantec Global was the most active with 515.66 million shares done. It rose 8.5 sen to 20 sen before it was voluntarily suspended at 4.05pm.

SAM Engineering extended its three-day run-up, adding 40 sen to RM3.59. China Stationery added 20 sen to RM1.68.

Among the KLCI stocks, Sime added two sen to RM9.90, Public Bank also two sen to RM13.80 and DiGi one sen to RM3.92.

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