The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index fell 6.33 points, or 0.7 per cent, to close at 872.69, its lowest level since December 26. The measure has fallen 2.7 per cent this week, its largest weekly decline since the period ended December 5.
About two stocks dropped for each that rose on the 100-member gauge. January index futures lost 0.4 per cent to 868.50. The market will be shut on January 26 and 27 for the Lunar New Year holidays.
The day’s volume stood at 277.134 million shares worth RM388.359 million, down from yesterday’s 371.784 million shares worth RM460.396 million.
“Volume traded was very thin with investors seeking to unwind positions ahead of the long weekend,” a dealer said.
“There weren’t any positive catalysts to drive the market higher,” he added.
Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd slid 15 sen, or 1.6 per cent, to RM9.50, its first decline in three days. PPB Group Bhd lost 25 sen, or 2.6 per cent, to RM9.35. Sime Darby Bhd retreated 5 sen, or 0.9 per cent, to RM5.35. Palm oil futures in Malaysia slid as much as 1.6 per cent.
Axis Real Estate Investment Trust Bhd advanced 5 sen, or 4 per cent, to RM1.31, its highest close since November 5. The Malaysian property fund said fourth-quarter net income jumped 88 per cent to RM34.9 million (US$9.7 million) from a year earlier. Revenue rose to RM16.9 million from RM13 million, it said in a statement.
TM International Bhd, a Malaysian mobile-phone operator, fell 6 sen, or 1.8 per cent, to RM3.32, the lowest level since December 9, after Credit Suisse Group cut its revenue forecast for its Indonesian unit because of a slowing economy. Credit Suisse lowered its 2008 and 2009 revenue estimates by a further 1.5 per cent and 4.2 per cent respectively at PT Excelcomindo Pratama, Indonesia’s third-largest mobile-phone operator. It may report a 5.8 per cent quarter-on-quarter decline in revenue in the fourth quarter, Credit Suisse Group said in a report today.
Titan Chemicals Corp dropped 2 sen, or 2.1 per cent, to 69 sen, the lowest since June 2005. The company had its credit rating lowered by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, citing the its weakening operating performance. Titan’s rating was cut to BB- from BB and remains on Creditwatch with negative implications, the ratings company said in a statement today.
“Titan’s margins are likely to be under more pressure as falling demand for petrochemicals hits product prices,” it said.
On the upside, Ranhill rose 5.5 per cent to 87 sen and Public Bank was up 0.6 per cent to RM8.65. - Agencies