KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia and key Asian markets stumbled on Monday on rising Middle East tensions.
At 12.30pm, the KLCI was down 15.19 points or 0.94% to 1,596.19. Turnover was 1.91 billion shares valued at RM775.82mil. Decliners beat advancers more than two to one or 562 to 237 while 309 counters were unchanged.
Reuters reported China stocks started the week higher on Monday, aided by strong gains for the country's oil producers as oil prices extended gains on escalating Middle East tensions. The CSI300 index rose 0.5% to 4,165.50 at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.6% to 3,101.98, its highest since April 29.
However, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.8%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index lost 0.67%, South Korea's Kospi 0.94% and Singapore's Straits Times Index 0.51%.
The ringgit weakened 0.15% against the US dollar to 4.1083 at 1pm.
At Bursa, the top losers were Nestle, down 70 sen to RM146.40, F&N 40 sen to RM34.18, Carlsberg 22 sen to RM30.26 and Heineken 16 sen lower at RM27.32 but Dutch Lady rose 50 sen to RM49.66.
Crude palm oil for third month delivery fell RM30 to RM3,086 per tonne. PPB Group lost 30 sen to RM18.66, Chine Tek 18 sen to RM6.97 and Genting Plantations 18 sen also to RM10.62.
Selling pressure resumed on Public Bank, which fell 24 sen to RM19.72. LPI, the major shareholder of Public Bank, rise 16 sen to RM15.42. HLFG lost 18 sen to but Hong Leong Bank added six sen to RM17.50.
US light crude oil jumped US$1.47 to US$64.52 and Brent rallied US$1.84 to US$70.44.
Petronas Gas lost 28 sen to RM16.88. However, refiners Petron gained 18 sen to RM5.25 and Heng Yuan eight sen to RM4.27.
Pipe-coating specialist Wah Seong gained six sen to RM1.26 as analysts were upbeat on its outlook.
Hibiscus Petroleum rose 4.5 sen to RM1.04.