KUALA LUMPUR: Key Asian markets and Bursa Malaysia were bruised by US President Donald Trump’s controversial move to impose stringent curbs on travel to the US, making investors nervous about his policies.
At 12.30pm, the KLCI was down 9.65 points or 0.57% to 1,676.71. Turnover was 606.65 million shares valued at RM544.03mil. Losers beat gainers 346 to 241 while 275 counters were unchanged.
Reuters reported Asian shares slipped on Tuesday as Trump’s stringent curbs on travel to the US brought home to investors that he is serious about putting his controversial campaign pledges into action.
Global stocks posted their biggest loss in six weeks after Trump signed an executive order on Friday to bar Syrian refugees indefinitely and suspend travel to the US from seven Muslim-majority countries, sparking widespread protests.
The ringgit egded up slightly against the US dollar to 4.4300 from 4.4303 the previous close while the local unit climbed against the Euro to 4.7377 from 4.7388. It inched up against the pound sterling to 5.5421 from 5.5434 but it weakened against the Singapore dollar to 3.1208 from 3.1057.
At Bursa Malaysia, Sime Darby fell 20 sen to RM9.03 on profit taking after last week’s run-up following the coporrate exercise plan to split up its operations. It erased 2.22 points from the KLCI.
Tenaga Nasional lost 20 sen to RM13.40 and wiped out 1.84 points on worries about its earnings outlook following the recent release of its results.
Out of the 12 research houses which issued their reports on Tenaga last week, two had an Outperform call, nine had a Buy and one a Hold call with target prices ranging fom RM16 to RMRM19.36.
MISC fell 21 sen to RM7.29 and wiped out1.53 points from the KLCI, Geting Bhd was four sen lower at RM8.35 but Genting Malaysia added two sen to RM5.08. BAT was the top loser, down RM1.06 to RM46.42.
Amoing the banks, RHB Bank fell 16 sen to RM4.86, HLFG lost 14 seb to RM14.68, Public Bank fell four sen to RM20.18, AmBank two sen to RM4.60, CIMB was flat at RM5 while Maybank rose three sen to RM8.28.
Glove makers were among the top losers also, with Hartalega down 14 sen to RM4.67 and Kossan 12 sen lower at RM6.51.
US light crude oil fell 20 cents to US$52.43 and Brent shed four cents to US$55.19. Petronas Gas skidded 38 sen to RM20.54 while Petronas Chemicals and Petronas Dagangan were flat at RM7.13 and RM23.38.
Crude palm oil for third month delivery fell RM50 toRM3,020, tracking the declines in soy oil and crude oil. However, IOI Corp was flat at RM4.50, KL Kepong and PPB Group gained six sen each to RM24.10 and RM16.12.
MBM Resources jumped 34 sen to RM2.44 as investors expected the smooth transition after group managing director Looi Kok Loon’s decision to resign from his post to pursue other business and personal interests.
MBM Resources, which has diverse investments in the automotive industry, said on Friday Looi’s resignation will take effect from Feb 8.
In the interim, Datuk Abd Rahim Abd Halim, who is the chairman, will be redesignated as executive chairman of the company and he will have the authority to manage the day to day affairs of the Group until a permanent chief executive officer is appointed.
US spot gold price rose US$5.85 to US$1,201.55.