KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia joined key Asian markets to close in the red on Tuesday as investor sentiment was further dented by worries about fresh Covid-19 infections.
At 5pm, the FBM KLCI was down 2.38 points or 0.17% to 1,379.93. Turnover was 6.39 billion shares valued at RM3.73bil. The broader market was mixed with 437 gainers, 456 losers and 368 counters unchanged.
Key Asian markets closed between 0.11% and 1.21% lower on the economic impact of the pandemic.
Weighing on Malaysia's market sentiment was the weaker-than-expected March industrial production index which fell 4.9% compared with a Bloomberg survey of a 3% decline.
Foreign funds continued to withdraw from Bursa Malaysia with the amount of outflow nine times more to RM774.1mil last week, according to MIDF Research.
Public Bank weighed on the KLCI, falling 22 sen to RM15.52 and erased 1.32 points from the KLCI. Hong Leong lost 14 sen to RM13.26, CIMB three sen lower at RM3.41. However, Maybank rose three sen to RM7.44 and added 0.52 of a point.
US light cride oil rallied 91 cents or 3.77% to US$25.05 and Brent 149 cents or 1.65% higher at US$30.12.
Among the oil and gas stocks, Petronas Chemicals lost eight sen to RM5.40 and erased one point, Petronas Dagangan 56 sen lower at RM19.94 while Petronas Gas shed two sen to RM14.84. Dialog was two sen lower at RM3.26. ISC added six sen to RM7.96.
Crude plam oil fell RM22 to RM1,998 per tonne. PPB Group staged a surprise, rising 24 sen to RM16.48 but IOI Corp and Sime Plantation lost three sen each each to RM3.85 and RM4.74.
Tenaga Nasional and IHH Healthcare were flat at RM12.34 and RM5.16, Sim Darby lost two sen to RM1.95 while Genting fell 10 sen to RM4.05 and GentingM six sen to RM2.32.
G3, which had surged last week, fell 30 sen to RM2.71 on profit taking.
As for consumer stocks, Dutch Lady lost 26 sen to RM47.06, Heineken 22 sen to RM23.78 amd BAT 18 sen lower at RM13.08.
But it was not all doom and gloom as a resurgence in the Covid-19 saw investors chasing glove makers.
Top Glove was the top gainer, up 68 sen to RM7.99, Comfort 52 sen to RM2.27, Rubberex 48 sen to RM2.21, Supermax 45 sen to RM3.42, Kossan 45 sen to RM6.30, Careplus hit limit-up, 30 sen to 89 sen and Adventa 27.5 sen to RM1.19.
The ringgit rose 0.1% to 4.3295 against the US dollar.
Reuters reported Shanghai shares ended lower on fears about a second wave of coronavirus infections and as a sharp drop in China's factory prices underscored the economic impact of the pandemic.
At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.11% at 2,891.56, trimming some losses after falling 0.59% earlier.
Japan's Nikkei share average was little changed on Tuesday as investors weighed hopes of economic re-openings against concerns about further waves of coronavirus infections. The Nikkei share average fell 0.02% to 20,387.35, a day after it hit a two-month high.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 1.45%. Taiwan's Taiex 1.21%, South Korea's Kospi 0.68% and Singapore's STI 0.9%.