KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia kicked off Monday on a cautious note as worries about the outlook for the economy were confirmed by Bank Negara’s forecast while foreign selling continued to weigh.
At 9.13am, the FBM KLCI was down 0.59 of a point or 0.04% to 1,330.06. Turnover was 507.49 million shares valued at RM156.33mil. There were 206 gainers, 114 losers and 204 counters unchanged.
Reuters reported in Asia, Australia's benchmark index added 0.5%, Japan's Nikkei was up 0.2% while South Korea's Kospi index climbed 1.4%.
MSCI's broadest index of Asian shares outside of Japan edged up 0.1%. China markets were closed for a public holiday.
Oil prices skidded after Saudi-Russian negotiations to cut output were delayed, keeping oversupply concerns alive. Brent crude fell as much as US$3 in early Asian trading after Saudi Arabia and Russia postponed a meeting over a potential pact to cut production to Thursday.
At Bursa last week, foreign funds extended their selling of Malaysian equities with net selling at RM486mil while local institutions were net buyers at RM117.5mil and retail investors RM368.5mil.
Last Friday, Bank Negara forecast the economy to contract by 2% this year at worst and expand by 0.5% at best.
LPI fell the most, down 22 sen to RM11.40, PPB Group 18 sen to RM16.02, PetGas 16 sen to to RM15.14. Scientex lost eight sen to RM7.40, MCE Holdings 7.5 sen to 30.5 sen and Favelle Favco seven sen to RM1.88.
Heineken was the top gainer, up 42 sen to RM21.60 and Nestle 10 sen to RM136.80.
HLFG rose 20 sen to RM12.50 with 300 shares done, Petron and Genting six sen each to RM3.44 and RM3.83 while Microlink and Hwatai added 5.5 sen each to 75 sen and 25 sen.