KUALA LUMPUR: Asian markets including Bursa Malaysia started Monday on a cautious note ahead as investors wondered whether there was progress in the US-China trade deal while at Bursa Malaysia, it was weighed down by losses in Petronas Chemicals and banks.
At 9.12am, the KLCI was down 0.7 of a point to 1,594.05. Turnover was 218.35 million shares valued at RM82.80mil. There were 178 gainers, 97 losers and 233 counters unchanged.
Asian share markets got the week off to a muted start as jaded investors awaited real evidence on progress in the US-China trade dispute, though sentiment found support from another record close on Wall Street, Reuters reported.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dipped 0.06% in very light volumes. Japan's Nikkei added 0.05%, but remained short of its recent 13-month top.
At Bursa, foreign funds have continued to reduce their shareholdings. They were net sellers at RM408.5mil last week while the selling was absorbed by local institutions at RM319.30mil and local retail investors at RM89.3mil.
Last Friday, foreign funds were net sellers at RM57mil while local institutions were net buyers at RM23.7mil and local retail investors at RM33.3mil.
BAT fell 28 sen to RM16.72 with 99,300 shares done.
However, Petronas Chemicals fell 12 sen to RM7.32, refiners PetronM and Hengyuan three sen each to RM5.13 and RM4.38.
Hong Leong Bank lost 12 sen to RM16.88 and Public Bank six sen to RM19.84. Both banks had come under selling pressure in recent months.
As for plantations, KL Kepong fell 20 sen to RM22.20 with 200 shares done and United Plantations 18 sen lower at RM25.32.
Nestle was the top gainer, up 80 sen to RM144.50. Master-Pack gained 11 sen to RM1.84, Scientex eight sen to RM9.18 and Guan Chong five sen to RM2.40. Hartalega advanced five sen to RM5.38.
MPI added 10 sen to RM10.88, MI and PIE five sen each to RM2.46 and RM1.53.
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