KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia failed to hold on to its gains generated in the morning trading session as persistent worries over the rapid spread of the coronavirus outbreak dampened sentiment.
The domestic market started the day on a negative note but gravitated higher at midday, adding 1.94 points to 1,258.52. It was lower at mid-afternoon.
At closing, the FBM KLCI closed 17.57 points to 1,239.01 points. The index opened 2.15 points lower at 1,254.43 this morning and moved between an intra-day high of 1,275.23 and a low of 1,226.26.
Trading volume was as 3.48 billion shares valued at RM2.88bil. On the broader market, losers trounced gainers 221 to 745 while 259 counters closed unchanged.
Dealers said stocks succumbed to selling pressure, in tandem with the regionals’ sentiment. In view of the weakness in sentiment, they expect the FBM KLCI to stay tepid at least for the near term.
U.S. stock futures fell 3.7% in Asia, falling to their daily limit outside U.S. trade, a day after the S&P 500 rose 6% and Dow Jones rose 5.2% or 1,049 points.
Leading laggards on the KLCI is Public Bank down 88 sen to RM13.02, its lowest since June 2013. The bank dragged the index down by 6.172 points. Axiata fell 18 sen to RM3.22, pushing the index lower by 2.98 points and Press Metal shed 39 sen to RM3, nudging the index lower by 2.845 points.
CIMB fell 14 sen to RM3.35, Maybank declined 10 sen to 7.26 and Malaysia Airports closed 58 sen lower to RM4.62.
Elsewhere in the region, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 4.2% to 22,291.82, its lowest close since January 2017,
China's main Shanghai Composite index closed down 1.83% at 2,728.76, while the blue-chip CSI300 index ended down 1.98%.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed 1.7% lower to 16,726.55, a 3-1/2-year closing low, while South Korea’s Kospi fell 81.24 points, or 4.86%, to 1,591.20, marking the biggest daily fall since November 2011.
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