KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia joined key Asian markets to end Thursday morning in the red as investors locked in profits with Maybank and Genting Malaysia the main drags on the FBM KLCI.

At 12.30pm, the KLCI was down 3.48 points or 0.2% to 1,746.93. Turnover was 1.62 billion shares valued at RM1.02bil. The broader market weakened slightly with 334 gainers, 403 losers and 391 counters unchanged.

There was some rotational interest again in telco stocks as investors were seen shifting some money out from banking stocks. Consumer stocks were mixed while poultry stocks perked investor interest.

The ringgit firmed up against the key currencies, rising to 4.4195 against the US dollar from the previous close of 4.4198. It also gained against the pound sterling to 5.4968 from 5.5004 while it advanced against the Singapore dollar to 3.1657 from 3.1681. It rose against the Euro to 4.7524 from 4.7681.

Reuters reported Asian shares turned lower on Thursday after earlier briefly nudging up to near two-year highs, while the dollar benefited from waning expectations that the European Central Bank was poised to end its easy policy.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.3%, stepping back from morning trade when it nudged close its loftiest levels since June 2015.

At Bursa, Genting Malaysia fell 12 sen to RM5.58 and erased 1.17 points from the KLCI while Genting Bhd was down seven sen to RM9.60 and wiped out 0.43 of a point.

Tenaga lost two sen to RM13.72 and MISC six sen lower at RM7.28 while MAHB ended the morning down nine sen to RM7.07.

Among the banks, Maybank fell six sen to RM8.91 and erased one point from the index. AmBank fell 10 sen to RM4.75, RHB Bank five sen to RM5.20, Public Bank and Hong Leong Bank lost two sen each to RM19.92 and RM13.66. CIMB rose one sen to RM7.63.

As for consumer stocks, BAT rose 26 sen to RM45.70 after the seldown the previous day. Dutch Lady rose 40 sen to RM57.40 and Henieken eight sen higher at RM17.92.

Poultry company CAB Cakaran jumped 11 sen to RM2.12 and the warrants added 12 sen to RM1.56.

Crude palm oil for third month delivery fell RM25 to RM2,696 per tonne. Sime Darby lost six sen to RM9.34, KL Kepong fell two sen to RM24.76, PPB Group was flat at RM16.70 and IOI Corp rose two sen to RM4.67.

Axiata rose six sen to RM5.19 and nudged the KLCI up 0.88 point, Maxis gained three sen to RM6.47, Telekom eked out a one sen gain to RM6.42 while Digi was flat at RM5.16.
Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/03/30/klci-key-asian-markets-in-the-red-at-midday-ringgit-up/#khRayctUyhpvIluD.99