KUALA LUMPUR: Public Bank rebounded at midday on Wednesday but it was insufficient to lift the FBM KLCI following declines in Tenaga Nasional and Maybank while key Asian markets were mostly lower.
At 12.30pm, the KLCI was down 4.01 points or 0.25% to 1,576.59. Turnover was 1.44 billion shares valued at RM642.71mil. Decliners led advancers 422 to 268 while 385 counters unchanged.
The ringgit slipped 0.1% against the US dollar to 4.0765.
Asian stocks headed for their first decline in five sessions as traders mulled signs that US-China tensions will extend beyond the scheduled signing of a phase-one trade deal, Bloomberg reported.
According to Reuters, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Tuesday that the United States would maintain tariffs on Chinese goods until the completion of a second phase of a U.S.-China trade agreement.
US President Donald Trump is slated to sign the Phase 1 trade agreement with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He at the White House later in the day.
Japan's Nikkei fell 0.55%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index 0.83% lower, Shangahi Compoiste lost 0.66% and Singapore's STI 0.39%.
Public Bank rose 22 sen to RM19.36 and lifted the KLCI by 1.5 points. HL Bank two sen to RM16.86, CIMB unchanged RM5.18, AmBank and RHB Bank lost two sen each to RM3.83 and RM5.80 while Maybank shed four sen to RM8.61.
Tenaga fell 14 sen to RM12.76 and erased 1.4 points from the KLCI. MISC lost nine sen to RM8.17, GentingM one sen to RM3.31 but Genting rose one sen to RM6.16, MAHB added three sen to RM7.03.
Crude palm oil for third month delivery fell RM12 to RM2,993 per tonne. Batu Kawan fell 32 sen to RM17.10, KL Kepong 10 sen to RM24.58, PPB Group six sen to RM18.62, Sime Plantation five sen lower at RM5.25 and IOI Corp two sen lower at RM4.68.
US light crude oil and Brent fell 19 cents each to US$58.04 and US$64.30.
Petronas Gas lost 12 sen to RM16.48, Petronas Dagangan four sen lower at RM22.40 while Petronas Chemicals was flat at RM7.09.
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