At 5pm, the FBM KLCI was down 4.01 points or 0.23% to 1,750.41. Turnover was 3.40 billion shares valued at RM2.63bil. There were 522 gainers, 402 losers and 352 counters unchanged.
Stock market data showed foreign funds were net buyers at RM179.4mil while local institutions were net sellers at -RM175.7mil and retail investors at -RM3.7mil.European shares rose on Wednesday, following Wall Street's late surge, while sterling was the biggest loser on major currency markets ahead of the formal triggering of Britain's exit process from the European Union later in the day, Reuters reported.
Key Asian markets were mixed, with China and Taiwan in the red while others managed to eke out some gains.
The pound sterling slumped against the key currencies including the Ringgit. The local unit rose 1.09% against the pound to 5.5004 from the previous close of 5.5611.
The ringgit also advanced against the Euro, up 0.59% to 4.7681 from 4.7964. However, it slipped against the US dollar to 4.4190 from 4.4135 and weakened against the Singapore dollar to 3.1681 from 3.1676.
BAT fell the most among the stocks on Bursa, skidding RM2.46 to RM45.44 with 636,700 shares done on concerns the government could raise the duties on cigarettes.
Oil prices extended gains on Wednesday despite industry data showing an increase in US crude inventories, lifted by supply disruptions in Libya and views that an OPEC-led output reduction is likely to be extended, Reuters reported. US light crude rose 35 cents to US$48.72 and Brent gained 43 cents to US$51.76.Despite the rebound, Petronas Dagangan fell 94 sen to RM23.90 and Petronas Gas 16 sen lower ar RM19.80 but Petronas Chemical gained two sen to RM7.62.
Among the finance and banks stocks, HLFG fell 34 sen to RM16.16, RHB Bank five sen lower at RM5.25, Maybank was down three sen to RM8.97, Public Bank, Hong Leong Bank and CIMB rose two sen each to RM19.94, RM13.68 and RM5.58 respectively.
Semiconductor related stocks MPI and Globetronics fell on profit taking. MPI lost 18 sen to RM11.80 and Globetronics 13 sen lower at RM5.05. However, burn-in tester KESM added two sen to RM11.78.
As for telcos, Axiata climbed eight sen to RM5.13 and added 1.17 points to the KLCI, Maxis and Telekom were flat at RM6.44 and RM6.41 while Digi shed one sen to RM5.16.
Tenaga was flat at RM13.74, Genting Bhd fell eight sen to RM9.67 and Genting Malaysia was down five sen to RM5.70. MAHB added 16 sen to RM7.16.
Konsortium Transnasional, which had been under the investors' radar screen, saw active trade, adding 3.5 sen to 19.5 sen with 59.51 million shares. Interest in the bus transportation company could be linked to Perak Transit which had received positive feedback from analysts.Crude palm oil for third month delivery rose RM4 to RM2,711 per tonne. Sime Darby rose one sen to RM9.40, KL Kepong and PPB Group were flat at RM24.78 and RM16.70 while IOI Corp lost six sen to RM4.65. Smaller player Far East lost 35 sen to RM8.55 but UMCCA added 17 sen to RM6.27 following its stronger earnings.
Among the key regional markets,
Japan’s Nikkei 225 inched up 0.08% to 19,217.48;
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.19% to 24,392.05;
CSI 300 lost 0.13% to 3,465.19;
Shanghai’s Composite Index fell 0.36% to 3,241.31;
Hang Seng China Enterprise added 0.11% to 10,437.51;
Taiwan’s Taiex lost 0.2% to 9,856.25;
South Korea’s Kospi advanced 0.17% to 2,166.98 and
Singapore’s Straits Times Index rose 0.85% to 3,184.57.
Spot gold added 80 cents to US$1,252.62.