KUALA LUMPUR: Tech and semiconductor-related stocks came under pressure, in line with key Asian markets, after Apple Inc's warning that it was unable to meet its March quarter sales forecast due to the Covid-19 coronavirus.
The FBM KLCI was more resilient unlike recent days thanks to a better showing by banks, except Maybank, a recovery by Tenaga and some oil stocks.
At 5pm, the KLCI was down 0.04 point at 1,537.08. Turnover was 2.78 billion shares valued at RM2.05bil. Decliners led advancers more than two to one or 598 losers to 254 and 384 counters unchanged.
Reuters reported China's blue-chip stocks ended lower after Apple warned that it was unlikely to meet its March quarter sales forecast as the Covid-19 coronavirus slowed production and weakened demand in China.
The blue-chip CSI300 index closed 0.5% lower, with its financial sector sub-index shedding 1%. The Shanghai Composite index was flat at 2,984.97.
Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.4%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index 1.54%, Taiwan's Taiex 0.97%, South Korea's Kospi 1.48% and Singapore's STI 0.54% lower.
At Bursa, Maxis extended its decline, falling 13 sen to RM5.35 and erasing 1.81 points, Axiata was flat at RM4.33 and Digi edged up one sen to RM4.41.
Crude palm oil for third month delivery fell RM12 to RM2,637 per tonne.
KL Kepong fell 60 sen to RM23.14 after its disappointing results and wiped out 1.13 points from the index, Sime Plantation shedtwo sen to RM5.19, IOI Corp was flat at RM4.50, PPB Group edged up four sen to RM18.70.
Tenaga snapped its recent selling pressure, gaining 10 sen to RM12.60 and adding 1.01 points. Genting added eight sen to RM5.52 while GentingM was flat at RM3.01. MAHB gained two sen to RM7.02.
Among the banks, Hong Leong Bank rose 14 sen to RM15.30, Public Bank eight sen to RM17.70, CIMB four sen to RM4.96, RHB Bank three sen to RM5.70, AmBank two sen to RM3.91 but HLFG lost eight sen to RM16.02 and Maybank shed two sen to RM8.47.
MPI fell 46 sen to RM10.88, KESM 29 sen to RM9.91 and Pentamaster 15 sen to RM4.97.
As for oil and gas stocks, Petronas Gas added 16 sen to RM16.38, Petronas Dagangan six sen to RM22.26 but Petronas Chemicals lost seven sen to RM6.48 and Dialog shed three sen to RM3.35.
US light crude oil fell 89 cents to US$51.16 and Brent US$1.10 lower at US$56.57.
Icon Offshore slumped 5.5 sen to 12 sen and it was the most active with 169.39 million shares done while its warrants, which started trading on Tuesday jumped four sen to five sen with 90.1 million units done.
The ringgit fell 0.26% against the US dollar to 4.1543, shed 0.06% to the euro to 4.4973 and flat against the Singapore unit at 2.9819 while it edged up 0.24% to the pound sterling to 5.3912.
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