At 5pm, the FBM KLCI was down 18.34 points or 0.98% to 1,852.03. Turnover was 2.10 billion shares valued at RM2.43bil. There were 311 gainers, 551 losers and 381 counters unchanged.
Hong Kong stocks fell as investors braced for trade talks between US and Chinese officials, and awaited the US Federal Reserve's upcoming policy statement, Reuters reported. The Hang Seng index fell 0.3% while the China Enterprises Index lost 1.1%.
Japan'sNikkei 225 lost 0.16% and Taiwan's Taiex was down 0.37% while South Korea's Kospi fell 0.37%. Singapore's STI was up 0.04%.
Meanwhile, OCBC economist Alan Lau pointed out that Malaysian financial markets were fairly quick to adapt to domestic political developments and tend to refocus on economic drivers and global factors following any jitters during election periods.
“Malaysia’s currency, equities and government bonds didn’t show a sustained reaction to results of the 2008 and 2013 general elections
“(The) Nation has a thriving private sector, strong economic fundamentals, moderate inflation and low unemployment,” he said in a report carried by Bloomberg.
The ringgit fell against the strengthening US dollar, down 0.28% to 3.9345 – lowest since Feb 15. However, the local unit fared better against the pound sterling, up 0.17% to 5.3597; up 0.18% versus the euro to 4.7129 amd advanced 0.2% against the Singapore dollar to 2.9428.
At Bursa , Maxis fell 21 sen to RM5.62 and erased 2.94 points from the KLCI and Axiata lost 12 sen to RM5.18 and Digi seven sen lower at RM4.56. Telekom rose four sen to RM5.34.
CIMB fell 16 sen to RM7.04 and wiped out 2.68 points. Maybank was 12 sen lower at RM10.66 and erased 2.35 points from the index. HLFG lost 44 sen to RM19.04, Hong Leong Bank 16 sen to RM18.84 and RHB Bank eight sen to RM5.22 while AmBank was down 10 sen to RM3.80 but Public Bank rose 20 sen to RM24 and pushed the KLCI up 1.35 points.
Nestle was the top loser, falling RM4.90 to RM133.10 and wiping out 2.06 points from the KLCI. BAT fell 72 sen to RM23.78, Carlsberg 44 sen lower at RM18.56 but Heineken rose 38 sen to RM20.86 and Dutch Lady added 16 sen to RM66.78.
Genting Malaysia lost 13 sen to RM5 and Genting Bhd 17 sen down to RM8.76 while Tenaga was flat at RM15.84. IHH Healthcare lost eight sen to RM6 as it stepped up its takeover offer for India's Fortis Healthcare.
US light crude oil rose 44 cents to US$67.69 and Brent advanced 22 cents to US$73.35.
However, Petronas Daganagan lost 26 sen to RM26.74, Petronas Chemicals four sen lower at RM8.41 but Petronas Gas gained 38 sen to RM18.20 and nudged the KLCI up 1.35 points.
Crude palm oil for third month delivery shed RM1 to RM2,361 per tonne. PPB Group fell 16 sen to RM19.08, KL Kepong was unchanged at RM25.42, IOI Corp was flat at RM15.84.
Sime Plantations lost eight sen to RM5.49, Sime Darby six sen lower at RM2.61 and Sime Property four sen lower at RM1.46.