KUALA LUMPUR: Fears of a recession in the US following the more pessimistic view from the Federal Reserve weighed down Asian markets at the midday break on May 21 with the KL Composite Index reversing into negative territory despite gains in plantations.
At 12.30pm, the KLCI was down 2.28 points to 1,040.35 after it was just a hair breath away from the 1,050 level earlier. Turnover was 825.68 million shares valued at RM851.66 million. There were 230 gainers, 309 losers and 198 counters unchanged.
Crude palm oil for third-month delivery eased RM28 to RM2.574 while light crude oil fell 50 cents to US$61.54.
All key Asian indices were in the red. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.9% to 17,316.49, Singapore’s Straits Times Index lost 1% to 2,247.27 while Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipped 1.2% to 9,232.72. The Shanghai Composite Index declined 1.13% to 2,621.44.
Petronas Gas fell 15 sen to Rm9.55 and DiGi 10 sen to RM22.40 while the major decliners on the top 10 list were small cap stocks and penny counters.
Warisan fell 32 sen to RM1.86 with only 200 shares done while penny stocks MetalR lost 30 sen to70 sen with 100 units done, DeGem 17 sem to 65 sen amd Mamee 16 sen RM2.32.
Talam was the most active with 54.17 million shares done, rising 0.5 sen to 10.5 sen. Axiata rose three sen to RM2.49.
Among plantation stocks; KL Kepong rose 30 sen to RM12.30, United Plantations 20 sen to RM11.60, Far East 15 sen to RM5.95, IOI Corp 14 sen to RM4.78 and Chin Tek 10 sen to RM6.70.