KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia lagged behind the key Asian markets which rebounded on investor hopes of more measures to shore up their economies following the outbreak of the Covid-19 coronavirus.
Investors were awaiting greater clarity about the implementation of government policies and appointment of the members of the Cabinet after Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was appointed the new prime minster on Sunday.
At 5pm, the FBM KLCI was down 15.70 points or 1.06% to 1,466.94 – the lowest since December 2011 and year-to-date it is down 7.67%.
Turnover was 4.34 billion shares valued at RM3.28bil. There were 341 gainers, 651 losers and 346 counters unchanged.
Reuters reported China shares rose more than 3% after last week's steep losses, as bleak economic data fuelled hopes Beijing would roll out more measures to support the world's second-largest economy, while a decline in new coronavirus cases also helped sentiment.
The Nikkei 225 rose 0.95%, Hang Seng Index climbed 0.62%, Shanghai Composite 3.15%, South Korea's Kospi 0.78% higher and Singapore's STI edged up 0.18% but Taiwan's Taiex fell 1.08%.
At Bursa, CIMB fell 22 sen to RM4.60 and erased 3.9 points from the KLCI, Hong Leong Bank 28 sen to RM15.02, AmBank seven sen to RM3.63, RHB Bank six sen to RM5.49, Maybank three sen to RM8.39 and Public Bank two sen to RM17.08.
Crude palm oil for third month delivery rose RM17 to RM2,336 per tonne.
Sime Plantations lost 23 sen to RM4.73 and erased 2.83 points, KL Kepong 12 sen to RM21.72 but IOI Corp rose two sen to RM4.19 while PPB Group gained 18 sen to RM18.28.
Tenaga helped to reduce the losses after it climbed 40 sen to RM12.50 and added 4.06 points to the KLCI.
As for telcos, Maxis rose two sen to RM5.45 but Digi lost 10 sen to RM4.06 amd Axiata 12 sen to RM4.06.
A rebound in crude oil prices was not enough to lift oil stocks. US light crude rose US$1.46 to US$46.22 and Brent climbed US$1.73 to US$51.40.
Petronas Chemicals fell 19 sen to RM5.21 and wiped out 2.71 points, Petronas Dagangan 90 sen to RM21.94 and Petronas Gas 12 sen to RM16.50 while Dialog was down five sen to RM3.29.
Carlsberg fell the most, down RM2.96 to RM28.80, Nestle RM2.80 to RM140.20, Heineken RM2.50 to RM23, Dutch Lady 74 sen to RM41.80 but F&N gained 28 sen to RM31.
Investors chased several stocks which they deemed to have political links such as Eden, MyEG, Thriven and Datasonic.
The ringgit rose against the US dollar and pund sterling but slipped against the euro and Singapore dollar.
It rose 0.32% against the greenback to 4.2015; jumpd 1.15% versus the pound sterling to 5.3679 but fell 0.07% to the euro to 4.6551 and shed 0.02% against the Singapore dollar to 3.0240.
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