At 5pm, the KLCI was down 2.28 points or 0.13% to 1,808.59. Turnover was 2.59 billion shares valued at RM2.20bil. Decliners beat advancers 638 to 267 --reflecting the cautious attitude -- while there were 387 counters unchanged.
On the external front, shares in Hong Kong ended lower, tracking regional stock markets, after talks between the United States and China ended without progress, and as investors awaited a speech by the US Federal Reserve chairman for monetary policy clues. China stocks ended marginally higher, aided by strength in banking shares, Reuters reported.
AmInvestment Research, in its strategy report on Malaysia, said it held on to its end-2018 KLCI target of 1,900 in the aftermath of the May 9 GE14 (while its peers in the market jumped in to cut their targets).
“We believed that the elevated market risk premium was a spike, and it should normalise as the new administration gradually started to provide greater clarity with regards to its policies,” it said.
At Bursa Malaysia, Public Bank fell 42 sen to RM24.90 and erased 2.91 points from the KLCI, contrasting with the previous day's record high.
HLFG was down four sen to RM18.30, Maybank was flat at RM9.81, RHB Bank and CIMB added four sen each to RM5.25 and RM5.98 while Hong Leong Bank rose 16 sen to RM19.96.
US light crude oil and Brent each advanced 57 cents to US$68.40 and RM75.30.
Petronas Gas fell 30 sen to RM18.50 and erased 1.06 points, Petronas Daganagn lost 12 sen to RM26.68 but Petronas Chemical rose two sen to RM9.37. Dialog fell two sen to RM3.40.
Tenaga lost four sen to RM15.70, IHH was flat at RM5.62 but Genting Malaysia rose three sen to RM5.16 and Genting Bhd 10 sen higher at RM8.74.
As for telcos, Axiata rose 10 sen to RM4.72 and added 1.61 points to the KLCI. At midday, its reported earnings results, however, reflected a net loss of RM3.36bil in the quarter due to a technical, non-cash accounting adjustment from the de-recognition and reclassification of Idea Cellular Ltd from associate to simple investment.
Digi and Telekom shed one sen each to RM4.77 and RM3.59 while Maxis was flat at RM5.82.
Sapura Energy hit an intra-day all-time low of 37 sen after announcing a RM4bil cash call. It ended the day down 18 sen to 41.5 sen. It was the most active with 630 million units done.
Crude palm oil for third month delivery rose RM3 to RM2,221 per tonne. PPB Group and KL Kepong fell two sen each to RM16.76 and RM24.68 while IOI Corp shed one sen to RM4.58.
Sime Darby fell three sen to RM2.57, Sime Property shed two sen to RM1.28 but Sime Plantation gained one sen to RM5.34.
The ringgit weakened against the US dollar by 0.09% to 4.1085 and fell 0.13% against the euro to 4.7531 and weakened 0.05% to the Singapore dollar at 2.9977. However, it perked up 0.2% against the pound sterling to 5.2756.
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