KLCI slump continues, China extends declines – Business News

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KUALA LUMPUR: Chinese markets put a crimp in Asian equity markets as it dropped to three-month lows in morning trade after a strong pullback in the previous session amid concerns of new government regulations and a rout in the Chinese bond market. 

At midday, the FBM KLCI fell 5.46 points to 1,715.81 points with Digi weighing on the index. Turnover was 920.22 million shares with a value of RM810.47mil. There were 367 decliners versus 214 advancers with 510 counters unchanged.

Digi lost 19 sen to RM4.48, shaving 2.4188 points off the index as investors reacted to the stock’s removal from the Shariah list, triggered as the telco’s conventional debt-to-total assets exceeded the 33% threshold as at Dec 31, 2016.

“It is understood that Digi’s conventional debt-to-total asset spiked up towards end-2016 due to the drawdown of existing loan facility to pay for the 900Mhz and 1800Mhz spectrum fees which amounted to RM600mil. 

“Since then, Digi’s conventional debt-to-total asset has been regulated back to 30% with the establishment of a RM5bil Islamic bond facility (sukuk) in 2Q17,” said UOB Kay Hian Malaysia Research.

Other decliners included Hong Leong Bank, which fell 16 sen to RM15.52 and Tenaga Nasional, which dropped six sen to RM14.78.

IOI Corp fell four sen to RM4.48 and MISC slipped five sen to RM7.14. Meanwhile, banks Maybank and CIMB slipped one sen each to RM9.20 and RM5.97 respectively.

There were few gainers among the 30-stock benchmark index. Petronas Dagangan added 18 sen to 23.68, Genting Malaysia gained one sen to RM5.11, Sime Darby put on three sen to RM8.96, KL Kepong rose 12 sen to RM24.38 and Ambank rose one sen to RM4.22.
 
On the wider market, Kim Loong Resources dropped 37 sen to RM3.97, PPB slipped 22 sen to RM16.54 and KESM Industries dropped 80 sen to RM19.60.

Advancers included Masteel, rising 19 sen to RM1.51, Uchi Technology, gaining 14 sen to RM3.28, and Prestariang, adding nine sen to RM1.30.

Meanwhile, US crude oil continued to rise, hitting fresh two-year highs as the Keystone pipeline tightened the US market. Us light crude rose 41 cents to US$58.43 a barrel while Brent crude dipped 37 cents to US$63.35.

In currencies, the ringgit pulled 0.28% lower agains the greenback at 4.1190 and 0.16% against the Singapore dollar at 3.0598. It strengthened 0.03% against the pound sterling at 5.4745.



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