KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia joined key regional markets to end a volatile 2018 on a weak note, battered by the US-China trade tensions, weak commodity prices, disappointing corporate results and net outflow by foreign funds.
At 5pm, the FBM KLCI was down 1.49 points or 0.09% to 1,690.58 on late selling of selected banks and telcos. At the current level, the KLCI is trading at a price-to-earnings of 19.13 times.
Year-to-date, the KLCI is down 5.91%, a sharp contrast from its 52-week high of 1,896.03 on April 20.
Turnover on Bursa was 1.57 billion shares valued at RM1.32bil. There were 429 gainers, 361 losers and 355 counters unchanged.
Foreign funds were net sellers on Bursa at RM11.65bil or US$2.88bil since January this year, the highest since 2015 when net outflow was RM19.49bil, says MIDF Research.
Maxis fell 11 sen to RM5.35 and erased 1.52 points from the KLCI, Axiata shed four sen to RM3.93 but Digi gained two sen to RM4.50.
As for banks, CIMB fell seven sen to RM5.71 and wiped out 1.18 points, Public Bank and Hong Leong Bank 12 sen each to RM24.76 and RM20.40. HLFG lost 30 sen to RM18.56.
RHB Bank was flat at RM5.29, AmBank up one sen to RM4.34 while Maybank gained seven sen to RM9.50 and nudged the index up by 1.37 points.
US light crude oil rose 74 cents to US$46.07 and Brent advanced US$1.02 to US$54.23.
Petronas Chemical fell three sen to RM9.29 but Petronas Dagangan gained 34 sen to RM26.50 and Petronas Gas 20 sen to RM19.20 while Dialog inched up three sen to RM3.11.
MISC gained 12 sen to RM6.70, Sime and Tenaga Nasional four sen each to RM2.40 and RM13.60 while Genting Bhd
also advanced four sen to RM6.10 and Genting Malaysia flat at RM3.02.
Crude palm oil for third month delivery rose RM4 to RM2,125 per tonne in line with higher soyabean oil prices.
PPB Plantation lost 12 sen to RM17.58, Sime Plantation and IOI Corp fell two sen each to RM4.76 and RM4.45 but KL Kepong gained eight sen to RM24.72.
Scientex came under some selling pressure, falling 30 sen to RM8.85 after its weaker earnings.
The ringgit firmed up against the US dollar, euro and Singapore unit. It rose 0.4% to 4.1372 against the US dollar, climbed 0.71% to the euro and edged up 0.14% to the Singapore unit at 3.0358. However, it fell 0.15% to the pound sterling to 5.2676.