KUALA LUMPUR: The sharp rise in the number of the Covid-19 coronavirus this week saw investors stepping back from riskier assets including equities on concerns on the fallout on the economy and the supply chains of manufacturers.
At 9.23am, the KLCI was down 3.26 points or 0.21% to 1,535,90. Turnover was 306.65 million shares valued at RM170.66mil. There were 171 gainers, 185 losers and 237 counters unchanged.
Global shares eased as investors were spooked by a sharp rise in the number of coronavirus cases in China this week while oil prices extended gains on hopes of more production cuts, Reuters reported.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dipped 0.08% with South Korea's Kospi falling 0.25% while Japan's Nikkei slid 0.67%. US stock futures shed 0.07% in Asia, after the S&P 500 lost 0.16%.
The death toll from a coronavirus outbreak in China's Hubei province rose by 116 on Friday, health officials said, less than half the number of deaths from the day before, when Japan reported its first fatality, according to Reuters.
Hubei province's health commission said it had recorded 4,823 new cases of the flu-like virus that emerged in the provincial capital, Wuhan, in December.
At Bursa on Thursday, retail investors and foreign funds were net buyers while local institutions cut their stakes.
Foreign funds turned buyers at RM44.2mil and local retail investors at RM21.8mil while local institutions were net sellers at RM66mil.
Public Bank fell the most, down 14 sen to RM17.66 with 51,200 shares done.
Petronas linked stocks also came under some selling with Petronas Chemicals down 11 sen to RM6.39, Petronas Gas 10 sen to RM16.20 and Petronas Dagangan eight sen to RM21.18.
IJM Corp lost eight sen to RM2.25 with 10,700 shares traded.
Carlsberg rose 66 sen to fresh record highs, up 66 sen to RM36.32 following its inclusion into the MSCI Malaysia Index.
YINSON added 29 sen to RM7.09, Pentamaster seven sen to RM5.14 and KPower six sen to RM2.83.
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