Ringgit weakens to 17 year low, KLCI down 30 pts (Update)

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit fell through the 3.9 support level against the US dollar on Thursday while the equities market skidded, with the FBM KLCI down more than 30 points.

It was a double whammy for investors as at 5pm, the ringgit had fallen to 3.9125 to the greenback.

The KLCI tumbled 30.92 points or 1.79% to 1,694.64. Turnover was 1.65 billion shares valued at RM2.02bil. The broader market weakened as decliners beat advancers 686 to 187 and 282 counters were unchanged.

Reuters said the ringgit was its weakest since Sept 2 1998, a day before the government pegged the ringgit at 3.8000. Malaysia lifted the peg in 2005.

The major losers on the equities market were Petronas Gas, Tenaga Nasional, MAHB, Sime Darby and Axiata.

Axiata fell 29 sen to RM6.14 and erased 4.21 points to the KLCI, DiGi lost 20 sen to RM4.14 and erased 2.59 points from the index while TM shed one sen to RM6.62.

Tenaga Nasional lost 40 sen to RM11.38 and erased 3.77 points. MAHB was 35 sen lower at RM5.09.

US light crude oil fell 15 cents to US$45 but Brent rose 13 cents to US$49.72. Petronas Gas fell 42 sen to RM22.10, Petronas Chemicals lost 15 sen to RM6.29 and Petronas Dagangan added eight sen to RM21.44. SapuraKencana Petroleum lost six sen to RM2.34.

Crude palm oil for third-month delivery fell RM8 to RM2,029 per tonne. KL Kepong lost 24 sen to to RM21.56, Sime Darby 22 sen to RM8.57, IOI Corp 15 sen to RM4.13 but PPB Group rose two sen to RM15.20.

Among the banks, HLFG lost 16 sen to RM15.28, Public Bank fell 14 sen to RM19, Maybank 12 sen to RM9.07 and RHB Cap 10 sen to RM7.30, AmBank lost five sen to RM5.60 while CIMB was flat at RM5.29.

Westports rose five sen to RM4.24 but off the intra-day high of RM4.44 after it received the government’s approval to raise the container tariffs.

Among the key regional markets,

Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.24% to 20,664.44;

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.57% to 24,375.28;

Shanghai’s Composite Index fell 0.89% to 3,661.54;

Taiwan’s Taiex fell 1.09% to 8,449.56;

South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.81% to 2,013.29;

Singapore’s Straits Times Index was flat at 3,191.32.

Spot gold rose 37 cents to US$1,085.40.


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