At 12.30pm, the KLCI was down 3.08% or 0.18% to 1,707.16. Turnover was 1.23 billion shares valued at RM1.06bil. There were 314 gainers, 460 losers and 338 counters unchanged.
Reuters reported Japanese stocks dropped on Tuesday afternoon, with Toshiba Corp's falling more than 9% after it delayed its earnings release, including details of a multibillion dollar charge related to cost overruns at its US nuclear arm.
The dollar hit a two-week high against the yen with another round of solid gains on Monday as investors focused again on the U.S. reflation trade which dominated the aftermath of Donald Trump's election in November but has stalled this year, Reuters reported.
The ringgit firmed up against the US dollar and the Euro but slipped against the pound sterling and Singapore dollar. It rose to 4.4480 against the greenback from 4.4482 and inched up against the euro to 4.7194 from 4.7375. However, it weakened to 5.5773 to the pound and slipped to 3.1341 to the Singapore dollar from 3.1302.
Among the consumer stocks, Nestle fell 48 sen to RM76.04 and Dutch Lady 12 sen to RM54.20 while Ajinomoto was down 10 sen to RM14.20 but BAT jumped for the second day, up 92 sen to RM47.40.
US light crude oil rose 12 cents to US$53.05 and Brent gained 15 cents to US$55.74. Petronas Dagangan fell 18 sen to RM24.10, Petronas Chemicals shed three sen to RM7.19 while Petronas Gas was flat at RM20.60.
Crude palm oil for third-month delivery rose RM5 to RM3,041 per tonne. Sime Darby rose 14 sen to RM9.21, IOI Corp added two sen to RM4.71 while KL Kepong was flat at RM25.10 but PPB Group fell eight sen to RM16.38.
Tenaga fell 16 sen to RM13.50, retreating from the sharp gains the previous day. CSC Steel fell 19 sen to RM1.92 after its 4QFY16 net earnings fell 78% on-year.
Among the banks, Hong Leong Bank added 14 sen to RM13.44, Maybank fell three sen to RM8.32, Public Bank shed two sen to RM20.20 and CIMB eased one sen to RM5.16.
Ekovest rose 13 sen to RM2.98 on plans to pay a 25 sen special dividend to shareholders.
Among the key regional markets,
Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.74% to 19,315.41;
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index inched up 0.01% to 23,712.17;
CSI 300 fell 0.12% to 3,432.24;
Shanghai’s Composite Index fell 0.14% to 3,212.43;
Hang Seng China Enterprise inched up 0.08% to 10,265.97;
Taiwan’s Taiex shed 0.05% to 9,705.95;
South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.44% to 2,069.50; and
Singapore’s Straits Times Index fell 1.03% to 3,079.52.
Spot gold rose US$3.29 to US$1,228.56.
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