By Chong Sin Hao
KUALA LUMPUR(Aug 25) -- Malaysian stocks posted a weekly loss, dragged down by Genting Malaysia after disappointing quarterly earnings.
Shares in Singapore posted their first weekly advance in a month, in line with gains in the rest of Asia after U.S. indexes rebounded from recent losses.
The FTSE Bursa Malaysia fell 0.4% to 1,769.17 on Friday, ending the week 0.4% lower. Despite the KLCI's weekly loss, it remains on course to clinch its first monthly gain since April.
"Malaysian shares faced profit taking. Investors remain worried about upcoming general elections and the U.S. Fed's balance sheet shrinking," said Phua Lee Kerk, chief strategist at Phillip Mutual. "The KLCI is expected to continue trading sideways until the next trigger."
Genting Malaysia lost 3.8% on Friday, ending the week with a 5.2% loss after saying June quarter profit more than halved from the year ago. The company said it remains cautious on near-term outlook of the leisure and hospitality industry, but is optimistic on the growth potential of the industry. Its parent Genting slipped 0.4% on Friday and ended little changed for the week after its quarterly profit fell short of market expectations. Telecommunications companies Digi.Com, Telekom Malaysia and Axiata Group rose at least 1% this week.
Sime Darby, the world's largest palm oil producer by acreage, fell 1.1% on Friday after reporting a 53% drop in fourth-quarter net profit amid losses at its industrial division. For the week, Sime Darby lost 1.4%.
Budget carrier AirAsia added 0.6% after announcing plans to sell its entire 50% stake in Asian Aviation Centre of Excellence, which operates a training academy, for $100 million to its joint venture partner.
Offshore oil and gas services company Bumi Armada surged 3.5% on Friday after swinging to a profit in the second quarter.
Singapore's Straits Times Index fell 0.4% to 3,259.57 on Friday, but clinched a 0.2% advance for the week. Data released on Friday showed the city-state's manufacturing output rose 21% in July from a year ago, expanding for the 12th consecutive month as production of electronics continued to soar. The reading was better than June's 12.7% expansion, and exceeded economists'expectations.
Taxi operator ComfortDelGro fell 1.7% Friday, but ended the week 3.2% higher. The company's share's jumped 9% on Wednesday after it started talks with Uber Technologies Inc for a potential tie-up.
Weekly gains in Asia come as the three benchmark indexes on Wall Street are poised for their first weekly advance in at least three weeks after geopolitical tensions between the U.S and North Korea and a turmoil in the White House showed signs of easing. The Nikkei Asia300 Index was up 1.8% on week.
- By Chong Sin Hao; Dave.Chong@nikkeinewsrise.com; +60320267363
- Edited by Suzannah Benjamin
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