At 12.30pm, the index had fallen 1.18 points to 1,543.28. Trading volume was 1.77 billion shares valued at RM921.35mil. Market breadth was quite evenly spaced with 370 decliners, 351 gainers, and 373 stocks unchanged.
The country's leading banks rose as investors picked them up from multi-year lows. Public Bank gained six sen to RM17.68, CIMB added five sen to Rm4.91, Hong leong Bank added eight sen to RM15.16 and Maybank edged one sen higher to RM8.48.
RHB however fell four sen to RM5.67 while Ambank lost one sen to RM3.89.
The gains in the financial sector were offset by losses in telcos, led by Maxis dropping nine sen to RM5.54, Axiata falling three sen to RM4.37 and Digi sliding two sen to RM4.43.
Plantation counters were mixed with Sime Darby Plantation shedding eight sen to RM5.21 and IOI losing three sen to RM4.53 while KL Kepong rose 12 sen to RM23.66.
Most actively traded stocks were Securemetric down one sen to 14 sen, DGB sliding 0.5 sen to 8.5 sen and Powerwell up two sen to 31.5 sen.
Oil prices wobbled on monday as upcoming economic data in Asia threatened to show that the Covid-19 outbreak had derailed demand for the commodity. US crude fell three cents to US$52.02 a barrel and Brent crude dropped 15 cents to US$57.17 a barrel.
In currencies, the ringgit was 0.1% higher against the US dollar at 4.1380. It was flat against the pound sterling at 5.3980 and the Singapore dollar at 2.9763.
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