Investors stayed cautious in the absence of any strong positive leads and the 30-stock FBM KLCI stayed in the rted throughtout the whole day as the index fell below the psycholoigcally important 1,700 level.
At 5pm, the KLCI was down 15.34 points or 0.9% to 1,695.37. Turnover was 2.05 billion shares valued at RM1.94bil. There were 319 gainers, 497 losers and 359 counters unchanged.
Of the 30 stocks in the KLCI, only the recently battered-down Telekom Malaysia managed to eke out a six sen gain to RM2.32. Nestle, Hartalega , Hap Seng and Digi were unchanged while the other 25 stocks fell.
On the external front, China stocks ended higher after erasing early losses, as a rebound in property and healthcare stocks offset falls in energy plays following a continued selloff on Wall Street and a plunge in oil prices, Reuters reported. However, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea closed lower. Singapore was up.
At Bursa, Maybank fell 10 sen to RM9.40 and erased nearly two points, Public Bank fell 18 sen to RM24.82, HL Bank 12 sen to RM20.58, CIMB seven sen to RM5.66, RHB Bank six sen to RM5.13 while HLFG lost 28 sen to RM19.34.
As for telcos, Axiata lost nine sen to RM3.42 and wiped out 1.46 points, Maxis six sen to RM5.35, Digi was flat at RM4.27 but Telekom rose six sen to RM2.32.
Genting fell 15 sen to RM6.80, Tenaga six sen to RM14.80 and Genting Malaysia one sen lower at RM3.60.
MAHB fell 18 sen to RM7.80 despite its net profit surged 108% to RM168.49mil in the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2018 and it expects the current financial year to be better due to higher passenger traffic for Malaysia and growth momentum in Turkey.
Sime Darby slipped one sen to RM2.40 despite it had posted a strong set of financial results ended in the first quarter ended Sept 30, 2018 with net profit up 38% to RM225mil from the fourth quarter ended June 30, 2018.
US light crude oil rebounded 97 cents to US$54.40 and Brent gained 64 cents to US$63.17.
As for oil and gas stocks, Petronas Chemical lost six sen to RM9.25, Petronas Gas 10 sen to RM18.70 and Petronas Dagangan 26 sen to RM26.90.
MAHB fell 18 sen to RM7.80 despite posting a stronger set of third quarter results.
Crude palm oil for third month delivery inched up RM3 to RM1,989 per tonne.
Among plantation stocks, IOI Corp lost nine sen to RM4.124, Sime Plantation six sen to RM5.23, PPB Group six sen also to RM17 and KL Keponng shed two sen to RM24.88.
MPI fell the most, down 50 sen to RM11.74 due to the weaker semiconductor outlook. However, burn-in tester KESM rose 20 sen to RM10.86.
F&N lost 40 sen to RM33, Heineken 24 sen to RM19.12 and Carlsberg 22 sen lower at RM19.14,
Crest Builder added 12 sen to RM1.07. After the market close, it posted a fourfold jump in net profit to RM33.83mil in the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2018 from a year ago due to higher sales from its property division and disposal of land.