KUALA LUMPUR: The rising Covid-19 cases in the country weighed on investors’ sentiment on concerns about the impact on the economy while a drop in crude oil prices dragged energy stocks down.
At 9.30am, the FBM KLCI was down 13.86 points or 0.91% to 1,516.49. Turnover was 1.17 billion shares valued at RM410mil. Decliners led advancers 348 to 260 while 333 counters were unchanged.
Bloomberg reported oil fell for a second day as operations in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico started to resume following Hurricane Delta and Libya took a major step toward reopening its biggest field.
Futures in New York dropped below US$40 a barrel after closing down 1.4% Friday as oil workers in Norway called off a strike.
Yesterday, Malaysia reported 561 new infections – most of which were in Sabah and Kedah -- and the Education Ministry ordered the closure of schools in the Petaling district, Selangor.
Several shopping malls were closed for sanisation after workers were found to have the Covid-19.
At Bursa, Hartalega fell the most, down 30 sen to RM17.10 with 403,200 shares done. G3 skidded 27 sen to RM3.22 on profit taking.
HLFG lost 24 sen to RM14.14 and Public Bank 18 sen to RM15.96 while Maybank was down 11 sen to RM7.29.
Tenaga fell 16 sen to RM10.24 and Petronas Chemicals 11 sen to RM5.91.
XOX and Nexgram were among the top active stocks, up 0.5 sen each to 12.5 sen and 4.5 sen each.
Pharmniaga added 19 sen to RM4.99 and Duopharma 15 sen to RM3.60 as they would distribute the Covid-19 vaccines once made available.
The rally in crude palm oil prices saw Genting Plantation adding 16 sen to RM9.97 with just 100 shares, United Plantations added 12 sen to RM14.80.