The market had risen nearly 14 points in the first half-hour of trade before descending into negative territory. At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was 1.61 points lower from the previous day's close at 1,395.52.
Trading activity remained robust after hitting a record daily volume of 9.59 billion shares yesterday. Over Thursday morning, 4.02 billion shares crossed the market for a value of RM2.35bil.
As investors kept the market active amid the continued volatility, most counters were seen in slipping into the red. There were 666 declining stocks versus 232 gainers and 307 unchanged.
Rubber glove makers continued their gravity-defying push with Top Glove rising 71 sen to a fresh record of RM10.02. The other index-linked glove maker Hartalega gained 17 sen to RM9.03.
Meanwhile Kossan added 23 sen to RM7.40 while Supermax rose 17 sen to RM3.77.
Other KLCI-linked counters seeing positive momentum included Tenaga Nasional rising 22 sen to RM12.32 and IHH adding 14 sen to RM5.49.
Leading decliners were CIMB down seven sen to RM3.43, Sime Darby Plantation dropping 14 sen to RM4.59 and Digi sliding 12 sen to RM4.39.
Stock exchange operator Bursa Malaysia counted among the top gainers of the day as the elevated trading values equalled better earnings. The bourse operator rose 15 sen to RM6.14.
The top actives of the day were Minetec down 0.5 sen to 25.5 sen, Key Alliance Group unchanged at 9.5 sen and Careplus down 1.5 sen to 90 sen.
Oil prices rose on a surprise fall in US inventories, although gains were capped by the gloomy demand outlook. US crude rose 32 cents to US$25.61 a barrel and Brent crude gained 18 cents to US$29.31 a barrel.
On the forex market, the ringgit was down 0.1% against the US dollar at 4.3310. It rose 0.1% against the pound sterling at 5.2869 and was flat against the Singapore dollar at 3.0457.
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