KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips ended Friday on a slighter weaker note with the benchmark FBM KLCI below the important 1, 600 level on losses by Sime Plantation and Maybank despite firmer economic data and stronger ringgit.
At 5pm, the KLCI was down 1.07 points or 0.07% to 1, 599.22. Turnover was lackluste at 1.79 billion shares valued at RM1.44bil. The broader market was mixed with 390 gainers, 325 losers and 420 counters unchanged.
The ringgit rallied 0.40% against the US dollar to 4.1777 after Bank Negara announced measures to deepen onshore markets.
The local unit rose 0.91% against the euro to 4.6323 and gained 0.23% against the Singapore dollar to 3.0114 but slipped 0.17% to the pound sterling to 5.0759.
The measures were ahead of an expected decision by FTSE Russell in September on whether to retain ringgit bonds in its index.
On the economic front, Malaysia's Q2 GDP surpassed expectations with a growth rate of 4.9% and also higher than the 4.5% recorded in Q1.
At Bursa, Sime Plantation fell 11 sen to RM4.70 and erased 1.33 points from the KLCI. IOI Corp was unchanged at RM4.23 but IOI Corp was unchanged at RM4.23, KL Kepong climbed 12 sen to RM24.02 and PPB Group 10 sen to RM18.78.
Crude palm oil for third month delivery fell RM6 to RM2, 194 per tonne.
Maybank lost four sen to RM8.51, wiping out 0.79 of a point, HLFG 18 sen to RM16.88, RHB Bank four sen to RM5.48, AmBank three sen to RM3.91, Public Bank unchanged at RM20.80 but Hong Leong Bank gained eight sen to RM17.12 and CIMB two sen higher at RM5.07.
Tenaga and GENTING BHD lost four sen each to RM13.68 and RM6 while Sime Darby shed one sen to RM2.16, Genting Malaysia eked out one sen gain to RM3.08. MISC rose 11 sen to RM7.29 and added 0.86 of a point.
As for telcos, Digi rose three sen to RM5.02, Axiata two sen to RM5.02 while Maxis shed one sen to RM5.45.
Among the oil and gas stocks, Petronas Chemical shed five sen to RM7.15, Petronas Dagangan four sen to RM22.80 and Petronas Gas unchanged at RM16 while Dialog edged up one sen to RM3.53 after its strong FY19 results.
US light crude oil rebounded US$1.12 to US$55.59 while Brent jumped US$1.20 to US$59.43.
Reuters reported world stocks rose as expectations grew of further stimulus by central banks, offsetting worries about slowing economic growth, which intensified this week as the US yield curve inverted for the first time since 2007.
European shares opened higher, with the pan-European STOXX 600 index 0.7% higher.
Japan's Nikkei recouped early losses to end 0.06% higher and Shanghai blue chips rose 0.3%, after China's state planner said Beijing would roll out a programme to boost disposable income.
Hong Kong stocks ended firmer but posted their fourth straight weekly decline on worries over global economic slowdown, the US-China bruising tariff tussle and violent protests that threatened the island city's economy.
The Hang Seng index ended up 0.9% at 25, 734.22, while the China Enterprises Index gained 0.6% to 9, 964.30, Reuters reported.