KLCI opens lower amid end of Axiata Telenor merger

KLCI opens lower amid end of Axiata Telenor merger

KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI opened down 13.97 points or 0.87% today before paring losses as investors evaluated the termination of the planned Axiata Group Bhd-Telenor ASA merger and US equities’ overnight performance.

At 9am today, the KLCI opened at 1,590.50 before paring losses at 1,595.20 at 9:06am. At 9am, Axiata’s share price opened down 81 sen at RM4.07 after Axiata said on Friday the group and Telenor ASA had mutually agreed to end discussions on the planned non-cash combination of their telecommunication and infrastructure assets in Asia due to complexities involved in the transaction.

Telenor ASA is the parent company of Digi.Com Bhd’s largest shareholder Telenor Asia Pte Ltd. Today, Digi’s share price opened down 57 sen at RM4.32

KLCI components including Axiata, Digi and Petronas Dagangan Bhd fell among Bursa Malaysia top decliners. Petronas Dagangan was down 74 sen at RM21.70

Overnight on Monday at US stock markets, Reuters reported that the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 38.05 points or 0.14% to 26,835.51, the S&P 500 lost 0.28 point or 0.01% to 2,978.43 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 15.64 points or 0.19% to 8,087.44.

“U.S. stocks ended flat on Monday as increased expectations of stimulus from central banks around the world were offset by losses in technology and healthcare shares. Investors also appeared to pull back from buying after the market posted solid increases last week, strategists said. Microsoft Corp was the day’s biggest drag on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq,” Reuters said.

Malaysian shares resumed trading today after markets were closed on Monday, in conjunction with Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah’s birthday.

Today, Hong Leong Investment Bank Bhd wrote in a note that local shares are also expected to take cue from persistent US trade war concerns.

“With slight optimism on the trade progress at this juncture, we believe investors may take the opportunity to scoop up some heavyweights on the local front given the KLCI has stabilised around 1,580-1,600 over the past month.

“Also, traders may look out for shares which could be related to the upcoming Budget 2020,” Hong Leong said.

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