KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian shares fell for a fourth consecutive session and the ringgit slid to fresh three-month lows Thursday.
A report in Nikkei Asian Review (NAR) said this was largely due to persistent weakness in crude prices and the tepid risk appetite ahead of key central bank meetings.
The ringgit declined 0.3 per cent to 4.134 against the dollar, touching new over three-month lows, as global risk aversion continued to weigh on regional currencies, said the NAR report. The ringgit has shed 1.6 per cent this week.
The benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI fell 0.5 per cent to 1,652.99 points, its lowest level since August 3.
The index fell 2 per cent this week, its worst weekly performance since late April.
“The increase in volatility and fading global risk appetite is weighing on the ringgit and the Malaysian equities and almost all other asset classes,” the NAR report quoted Pong Teng Siew, head of research at InterPacific Securities, as saying.
Crude prices fell almost 3 per cent on Wednesday to their lowest levels this month despite an unexpected drawdown in US crude stockpiles.
Speculation surrounding possible outcomes of policy reviews by the Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan next week has dominated sentiment in recent sessions, said the report.
On the KLCI, 25 of the 30 constituents ended lower Thursday, while overall advancing issues outnumbered declining ones 397 to 369.
Mobile operator Maxis fell 2.1 per cent to RM6.02, leading losses on the KLCI. Genting Malaysia slipped 1.8 per cent to RM4.37.
DiGi.Com ended 1.6 per cent lower at RM4.96 while Telekom Malaysia slipped 1.5 per cent to RM6.78.
Broadcaster Astro Malaysia fell 1 per cent to RM2.92. The television services provider’s second quarter net profit, reported late yesterday, declined 8 per cent, according to the NAR report.
“The subdued earnings were due to a smaller pay-TV subscriber base, lower average revenue per user, higher churn rate, and higher content cost,” brokerage UOB Kay-Hain said in a note. The house has a ‘hold’ rating on the stock with a target price of RM2.85.