KUALA LUMPUR: All key regional markets fell at the midday break on Wednesday as investor sentiment turned cautious after the overnight decline on Wall Street, with key stock Tenaga Nasional and plantations weighing on the FBM KLCI.
At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI fell 4.53 points or 0.24% to 1,872.16. Turnover was 1.55 billion shares valued at RM833.85mil. There were 263 gainers, 449 losers and 332 counters unchanged.
Crude palm oil for third-month delivery fell RM12 to RM2,242 per tonne despite the decline in investors.
Batu Kawan fell 14 sen to RM19.60 and PPB Group 12 sen lower at RM14.80 while Genting Plantations lost 10 sen to RM11. IOI Corp shed two sen to RM4.99.
Banks were also under some selling pressure, with Public Bank shedding eight sen to RM19.90, CIMB down five sen to RM7, AmBank three sen to RM7.13 and Maybank one sen to RM9.97.
Petronas Dagangan was flat RM20.10, Petronas Gas added six sen to RM22.34 and Petronas Chemicals two sen higher at RM6.71.
Press Metal-LA fell the most, down 40 sen to RM5.50 in thin trade but its shares gained 18 sen to RM5.99.
Cement maker Tasek rose the most, up 42 sen to RM15.32 on firmer earnings while also edging higher was Lafarge, adding 35 sen to RM10.30.
Chip maker MPI added 18 sen to RM6.44 as prospects brightened on the surge in global semiconductor sales.
MAHB fell 14 sen to RM7.36 after the recent weak financial performance and a hitch in the airport operations at the klia2 last week.
The ringgit weakened against the US dollar and it was trading at 3.2015 compared with the previous close of 3.1875. Wire reports pointed out the decline of the local unit was due to the tension in Ukrain and weaker US data.
Among the key regional markets, Hong Kong and China shares fell with investors taking profits on recently-strong Chinese blue-chip stocks and keeping an eye on declines in US markets, according to Reuters.
Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.96% to 16,172.76;
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 0.61% to 24,497.88;
Shanghai's Composite Index fell 0.46% to 2,209.79;
Taiwan's Taiex fell 0.06% to 9,135.73;
South Korea's Kospi fell 0.37% 2,058.58 and
Singapore's Straits Times Index fell 0.24% to 3,319.62.
US light crude oil rose 13 cents to US$97.51 and Brent added 27 cents to US$104.88.
Spot gold rose 95 cents to US$1,289.73.
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