KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia was generally in the red on Friday as investors were given a jolt that a state of emergency was expected to be announced later in the day.
Though economic activities would not be affected, investors were worried about the impact, sending the FBM KLCI to a low of 1,490 before closing off the lows. The ringgit weakened against the US dollar in late trade.
At 5pm, the KLCI was down 4.16 points or 0.28% to 1,494.64. Turnover was 6.92 billion shares valued at RM4.10bil. Decliners beat advancers 894 to 311 while 352 counters were unchanged.
TheStar Online reported the proposal was to step up the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic that has spiked sharply over the past one week, as well as to put a stop to political squabbles.
It is understood that Prime Minister Tan Sri Muyhiddin Yassin has sought an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong at Istana Abu Bakar in Pekan, Pahang on Friday afternoon to present the proposal to the King for consideration at 5pm.
Officials at Putrajaya emphasised that only political activities would be affected by the Emergency. "It will be business as usual. Economic activities will carry on and there will be no curfews, ” it reported.
At Bursa, Top Glove fell 20 sen to RM8.70 and erased 2.51 points while Hartalega lost 48 sen to RM17.32 and wiped out 2.52 points.
US light crude oil fell 13 cents to US$40.51 and Brent seven cents to US$42.39.
Weakening crude oil prices saw Petronas Dagangan fall 14 sen to RM16.10. Petronas Gas 14 sen to RM16.10 but Petronas Chemicals gained 10 sen to RM5.95. Dialog shed four sen to RM3.72.
Crude palm oil for third month delivery fell RM39 to RM2,904 per tonne.
Sabah could see crude palm oil production fall by as much as 300,000 tonnes a month after imposing new coronavirus restrictions in the high crop season, the Malaysian Estate Owners' Association (MEOA) told Reuters on Friday.
Worsening labour shortages and La Nina-induced wet weather have already hampered production in Malaysia, and MEOA warned that the new restrictions could cut the state's output by half.
Genting Plantations fell 31 sen to RM9.97, PPB Group 10 sen to RM19, IOI Corp seven sen to RM4.32, Sime Darby Plantation four sen to RM4.89 while KL Kepong was unchanged at RM21.40.
Banks fared better with Public Bank up 28 sen to RM15.84 and adding 1.67 points to the KLCI, RHB Bank three sen to RM4.30 while Maybank and CIMB added two sen each to RM7.08 and RM3.05. However, Hong Leong Bank shed two sen to RM14.98.
Tenaga lost nine sen to RM9.99, Sime Darby three sen to RM2.44 but GentingM rose four sen to RM2.05 and Genting two sen to RM3.02. MISC rallied 35 sen to RM6.96.
Consumer stocks were mostly lower as Nestle lost RM3.20 to RM14.30 and Carlsberg 76 sen to RM19.40 but F&N gained 38 sen to RM31.48.
Tech and semicon stocks were mostly higher with MI jumping 26 sen to RM4.68, JFTech 23 sen to RM4.80, Unisem 22 sen to RM4.40, Vitrox 18 sen to RM14.12 and MPI 16 sen to RM20.76.
The ringgit weaken to 4.1605 at 5pm, sliding 0.37%, on worries about the emergency.
China stocks ended lower on Friday, posting weekly losses, as investors locked in profits in consumer and healthcare stocks on concerns over lofty valuations.
At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was down 1.04% at 3,278.00, while the blue-chip CSI300 index lost 1.25%.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 0.54%, and Singapore's STI gained 0.3% while Japan's Nikkei index closed up 0.18%. Taiwan's TAIEX shed 0.14%
Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.26%.
Spot gold rose US$5.88 to US$1,909.99 per troy ounce.
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