KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI descended in mid-morning trade to end the early session slightly lower as IHH Healthcare and Maxis weighed on the index.
At 12.30pm, the local benchmark index was down 1.55 points to 1,778.54. Trading volume was 1.13 billion shares with a value of RM650.4mil. There were 428 decliners versus 297 gainers and 359 counters unchanged.
IHH slid seven sen to RM5.83 as investors look ahead to its earnings results due later this month. RHB Research said in a research note that it expects the healthcare provider's financial results to be in line with its forecast.
"We expect translated earnings gains from a weaker MYR to be offset by unrealised forex losses from its Turkish operations," it said.
Maxis also dropped six sen to RM5.62 while Digi lost five sen to RM4.53 and Petronas Gas dropped 20 sen to RM18.88.
Most banks were higher in morning trade, including Maybank which put on two sen to RM9.85, Public Bank which rose four sen to RM24.20 and CIMB which climbed three sen to RM5.82.
RHB lost five sen to RM5.40 while Hong Leong Bank trimmed two sen to RM19.10.
MISC led gains on the index, putting on 10 sen to RM6.60. Nestle also gained 60 sen to RM147.90.
Among the top advancers, KESM rose 20 sen to RM17.50, Aeon Credit
added 14 sen to RM14.96 and Top Glove put on 14 sen to RM10.14.
Meanwhile, Gamuda, which resumed trading after a one-day suspension on Friday due to the announcement of the SPLASH purchase offer, lost 16 sen to RM3.72.
Time dotCom lost 15 sen to RM8.20 and Taliworks dropped 10 sen to RM1.20.
Oil prices were firmer on Monday as news that Saudi production had slipped in July while US shale drilling had plateaued.
In currencies, the ringgit slipped 0.1% against the greenback at 4.0780, and 0.2% against the Singapore dollar at 2.9842. It was 0.1% stronger against the pound sterling at 5.2984.