Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur Composite Index fell 17.10, or 1.8 percent, to close at 910.52, its biggest drop since Dec. 1, snapping a four-day winning streak. Eight stocks slid for each that gained on the 100-member gauge.
About 391 million shares changed hands in the market, lower than the three-month daily average of 576 million shares. January index futures slid 0.9 percent to 913.00.
Plantation stocks: Sime Darby Bhd. (SIME) , Malaysia’s biggest oil-palm grower, dropped 35 sen, or 6 percent, to 5.45 ringgit, the steepest slide since Dec. 1, and accounted for more than a fifth of the benchmark Composite Index’s decline. Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd. (KLK) slid 40 sen, or 3.9 percent, to 10 ringgit. Palm oil futures in Malaysia dropped as much as 6.1 percent, snapping an eight-day gain.
IOI Corp. (IOI) fell 28 sen, or 6.6 percent, to 3.98 ringgit, its worst drop since Oct. 28, making it the biggest decliner on the benchmark Composite Index. Malaysia’s second-largest oil-palm grower was cut to “equal-weight” from “overweight” at Morgan Stanley, which cited “rich valuations.” IOI is trading at a price-earnings multiple of 23 times projected 2009 earnings, making it the most expensive plantation stock in Southeast Asia, Morgan Stanley said in a report today.
KLCC Property Holdings Bhd. (KLCC MK) gained 3 sen, or 1 percent, to 2.93 ringgit, its highest level since July 25. Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co., South Korea’s biggest builder, won a 665 million-ringgit contract from KLCC Property Holdings Bhd. (KLCC) to build a mixed development project in Kuala Lumpur. The contract covers the construction of the superstructure of the development, said KLCC in a statement.
Lafarge Malayan Cement Bhd. (LMC) , Malaysia’s biggest cement producer, slid 26 sen, or 6.3 percent, to 3.90 ringgit, its steepest slide since Oct. 28. UOB Kay Hian cut its rating on the stock to “sell” from “buy.”
Parkson Holdings Bhd. (PKS) dropped 12 sen, or 3.4 percent, to 3.46 ringgit, the lowest level since Dec. 12, extending yesterday’s 16 percent slide. Its Beijing-based department-store chain unit, Parkson Retail Group Ltd., had its credit outlook reduced to “stable” from “positive” by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services after China sales slowed.
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