The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index fell 9.91, or 1.1 per cent, to close at 880.37. It was a sixth day of declines, the longest losing streak since October 6. Almost five stocks fell for each that rose on the 100-member measure.
The dealers said that market players took in profits ahead of the Chinese New Year holidays next week and amid worries that the US financial crisis had spread to Europe.
According to them, fears of the financial crisis in Europe seem to be affecting the local and regional bourses, especially after the Royal Bank of Scotland announced massive losses.
Decliners led advancers by 350 to 135 while 203 counters were unchanged, 565 untraded and 31 others suspended.
The volume shed to 375.820 million shares valued at RM439.119 million against yesterday’s closing of 421.934 million shares valued at RM437.957 million.
KNM Group Bhd slid 2.5 sen, or 5.5 per cent, to 43 sen, the largest decline since December 5. Scomi Group Bhd declined 2 sen, or 5.5 per cent, to 34.5 sen, the most since November 24. SapuraCrest Petroleum Bhd dropped 3.5 sen, or 4.4 per cent, to 76 sen, after crude oil fell below US$34 a barrel in New York, eroding the prospects for oil exploration-related contracts.
Lion Industries Corp dropped 5 sen, or 6.9 per cent, to 67 sen, the steepest decrease since November 24. It was the third-biggest decliner on the benchmark Composite Index. Perwaja Holdings Bhd fell 1.5 sen, or 2 per cent, to 75 sen. Its parent Kinsteel Bhd slid 1.5 sen, or 3.5 per cent, to 41.5 sen.
Perwaja cut production at its iron plant while Lion has reduced steel production amid weak demand and high gas costs, a newspaper reported, citing company officials.
Berjaya Sports Toto Bhd climbed 8 sen, or 1.8 per cent, to RM4.66, the second-best performer on the Composite Index. JPMorgan Chase & Co, following a meeting with Berjaya Sports’s management, said there’s no change in its dividend policy of a 75 per cent payout ratio. It also expects sales to increase 5 per cent for fiscal 2009, it said in a report today.
IOI Corp, Malaysia’s second largest palm oil producer, dropped 4 sen, or 1 per cent, to RM3.80, its first slide in three days. First State Investments cut its stake in the company to 5.9 per cent by selling 15.8 million shares, a stock exchange filing showed.
TM International Bhd tumbled 12 sen, or 3.3 per cent, to RM3.54. The mobile phone operator controlled by state investment agency Khazanah Nasional Bhd may sell new shares in a rights offer or issue an “equity-linked security” to repay debt to Telekom Malaysia Bhd.
WCT Bhd dropped 8 sen, or 7.3 per cent, to RM1.02, the second worst performer on the Composite Index. The Employees Provident Fund sold 100,000 shares in the company, trimming its stake to 18.9 per cent, a stock exchange filing showed.— Bernama, Bloomberg