KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia retreated as the US Federal Reserve looks set on a fourth interest rate hike at its December meeting.
Asian markets were overall disappointed as the Fed had kept to its hawkish tone, pointing to a healthy economy although there was a dip in business investment growth.
At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI fell 13.4 points to 1,708.02. There were 952 milllion shares traded valued at RM786.4mil. Market breadth was overwhelmingly negative 522 to 193 while 273 counters were unchanged.
Leading decliners in the index were Maybank dropping 10 sen to RM9.22, MISC dropping 20 sen to RM6.77 and IHH sliding 10 sen oto RM4.89.
Only three stocks advanced, comprising Hap Seng rising eight sen to RM9.93, KL Kepong adding two sen to RM24.92 and Petronas Gas gaining two sen to RM18.72.
F&N was the leading decliner on the stock exchange in the morning session, falling 50 sen to RM34.28 following the release of its earnings results yesterday.
Heineken slid 36 sen to M19.82 and KESM rounded off the top three losers with a 32 sen fall to RM10.76.
Actively traded counters on the stock exchange included Sapura Energy
rising 0.5 sen to 36.5 sen, Seacera gaining 0.5 sen to 26 sen and Hibiscus losing three sen to RM1.12.
US crude prices slipped further on Friday on rising supply andfears of an economic slowdown.
WTI crude had slipped into a bear markets after falling 20% from its peak. At 1pm, it was down 15 cents to US$60.52 a barrel.
Brent crude, which is about 18% down from recent highs, was four cents higher at US$70.69 a barrel.
In currencies, the ringgit was 0.4% lower against the US dollar at 4.1795. It rose 0.1% against the pound sterling at 5.4555 and was marginally stronger against the Singapore dollar at 3.0335.