KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips closed on a weak note on Wednesday as late selling of CIMB and Petronas Gas dragged the FBM KLCI deeper into the red while key Asian markets were mixed.
At 5pm, the KLCI was down 8.16 points or 0.51% to 1,594.59 and year-to-date, the 30-stock index is down 5.68%.
Turnover was 2.0 billion shares valued at RM1.62bil, reflecting the investors' lack of risk appetite in the local stock market. There were 318 gainers, 447 losers and 405 counters unchanged.
On the external front, Chinese stocks were largely unchanged as the market awaits clues from policymakers at home and abroad this week on further support to shore up growth amid a protracted trade war between the world's two largest economies, Reuters reported.
The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.01%, Hang Seng China Enterprise added 0.44%, South Korea's Kospi added 0.22% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index added 0.15% but Japan's Nikkei 225 lost 0.28% and Singapore's STI fell 0.38%
Brent crude oil futures rose above US$60 a barrel after industry data showed a larger-than-expected drop in US crude inventories, but lingering worries about a possible global recession capped gains, Reuters reported.
As Bursa, late selling of Petronas Gas saw it closing down 38 sen to RM15.82 and making it the top loser of the day. Its fall saw 1.32 points erased from the KLCI. Petronas Dagangan lost 14 sen to RM23.16 and Petronas Chemicals one sen to RM7.15 while Dialog shed four sen to RM3.47.
CIMB weighed most on the index, erasing1.88 points when it lost 11 sen to RM5.07. Hong Leong Bank fell 20 sen to RM16.94, RHB Bank nine sen to RM5.43, Pubic Bank six sen to RM20.74 and Maybank shed two sen to RM8.53. AmBank was down two sen also to RM3.90.
Crude palm oil for third month delivery rose RM10 to RM2,187 per tonne but the gains were insufficient to lift the sentiment.
KL Kepong fell 20 sen to RM23.62 on weaker results, Batu Kawan 10sen to RM15.90, IOI Corp three sen to RM4.25, Sim Plantation shed one sen to RM4.71 and PPB Group unchanged at RM18.80.
As for telcos, Axiata added three sen to RM4.96, Maxis flat at RM5.46 and Digi shed four sen to RM4.98.
MISC lost 13 sen to RM7.23 and erased 1.02 points from the KLCI, Tenaga lost four sen to RM13.66 while Sime Darby, IHH and Press Metal lost two sen each to RM5.66, RM4.79 and RM4.79.
Heineken jumped RM1.16 to RM23.88 on its strong financial performance, Nestle 80 sen to RM148.40, Carlsberg 50 sen to RM24.64.
MBM Resources' strong results saw it rally 30 sen to RM4.
The ringgit rose 0.11% against the US dollar to 4.1790 but fell 0.31% versus the pound sterling to 5.0471 and slipped 0.04% against the euro and Singapore dollar to 4.6359 and 3.0189.
The Chinese yuan slipped 0.07% against the US dollar to 7.0653.