KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI ended the morning slightly softer following a session of volatile trading.
The domestic market came at adds with key Asian markets, which advanced on Beijing's surprise key interest rate cut, leading to speculation over further stimulus measures.
China's central bank cut rates on seven-day reverse repurchase agreements by five basis points to 2.5%, which nudged the yuan higher while lowering bond yields.
At 12.30pm, the local index was down 0.87 points to 1,593.88. Trading volume was 1,22 billion shares valued at RM591.55mil.
There were 311 gainers versus 368 decliners and 374 counters unchanged.
In its technical outlook, Kenanga research noted that the market remains fragile as the index is still hovering below the 1,600 points level. It added that there may be further downside owing to the lacklustre key momentum indicators.
"From here, support levels to watch out for are 1,570 (S1) and 1,550 (S2). Meanwhile, key levels of resistance are identified at 1,630 (R1) and 1,650 (R2)," it said.
Among heavyweight counters, Public Bank led the market lower with an 18 sen fall to RM19.72 while Petronas Chemicals dropped eight sne to RM7.36.
Maybank shaved two sen to RM8.64 while Hong Leong Bank slid 14 sen to RM16.86. CIMB bucked the trend by rising five sen to RM5.27. Other gainers included IHH up six sen to RM5.41 and DIgi adding seven sen to RM4.65.
Oil prices were barely moved on Monday as traders awaited more details over a potential US-China trade deal.
US crude was up three cents to US$57.75 a barrel while Brent crude was flat at US$63.30 a barrel.
In currencies, the ringgit was flat against the US dollat at 4.1520. It fell 0.2% against the pound sterling at 5.3656 and was unchanged against the Singapore dollar at 3.0514.
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