As at 12.30pm today, there was a broad-based pullback on the market with 877 decliners versus 191 gainers. On the 30-stock FBM KLCI, there were 26 decliners to only four advancers.
The key index declined 10.53 points to 1,495.25, erasing the gains made in the previous session. Trading volume was 5.25 billion shares valued at RM2.56bil.
At a noon press conference today, opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim claimed that he had majority support to become the Prime Minister of the country, potentially setting the stage for a fresh bout of political turmoil.
Investors reacted negatively to the announcement as it brought to mind the political crisis experienced earlier in the year when a shake-up in the Pakatan Harapan coalition led to the appointment of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
The leadership overhaul was preceded by a meeting between members of the government coalition with opposition members in the Sheraton Hotel in Petaling Jaya on Feb 21. The next day, the FBM KLCI was seen diving 2.6% as investors sold down their shareholdings.
On Bursa Malaysia today, financial stocks fell in unison with Maybank dropping five sen to RM7.15, Public Bank sliding 18 sen to RM15.68, Hong Leong Bank falling six sen to RM14.88, RHB down seven sen to RM4.68 and CIMB losing two sen to RM3.10.
In glove counters, Hartalega rose 26 sen to RM14.32 while Top Glove dropped seven sen to RM7.96. Other leading decliners included Petronas Chemicals down 10 sen to RM5.52 and Tenaga Nasional falling 12 sen to RM10.90.
Meanwhile, Malacca Securities Research reiterated its bearish outlook on the stock market given the lack of fresh catalysts. "The lower liners are also going on an extended consolidation spell as traders were quick to lock in any profits," it said.
Top active stocks were ASB surging 4.5 sen to 17 sen, Kanger falling 5.5 sen to 25.5 sen and Pasukhas sliding 3.5 sen to nine sen.
Elsewhere in the region, markets failed to track Wall Street's rebound as investors stayed cautious over the global economy.
Japan's Nikkei fell 0.4% after an extended weekend while China's key index and Hong Kong's Hang Seng stayed mostly flat. Australia's ASX200 meanwhile jumped 2.1% while South Korea's Kospi dropped 0.1%.
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