KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's blue chips, the ringgit and crude palm oil (CPO) for third month delivery all came under late selling pressure while the FBM KLCI skidded 1.31% as investors reduced their stakes in banks.
At 5pm, the FBM KLCI was down 21.07 points to 1,583.68, making it the worst performer among the key Asian markets. Turnover was 9.53 billion shares valued at RM4.48bil. Decliners beat advancers 730 to 462 while 455 counters were unchanged.
Key Asian markets were mixed on concerns about the rising Covid-19 infections and lockdowns to curb the spread.
Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.36%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index 0.71%. Taiwan's Taiex 0.37% and Singapore's Straits Times Index 0.3%. However, the Shanghai Composite rose 0.47% and South Korea's Kospi edged up 0.07%.
The ringgit weakened by 0.31% against the US dollar to 4.1000.
CPO for third month delivery, which had earlier risen to its highest since March 2012, also came under pressure and fell RM19 to RM3,420 per tonne.
All the index-linked banks closed lower. Maybank fell 13 sen to RM8.10 and erased 2.23 points from the KLCI.
As for Public Bank, it fell 68 sen to RM18.38 and wiped out 4.03 points while Hong Leong Bank slipped 98 sen to RM16.80 and shaved off 3.24 points. CIMB fell eight sen to RM3.64 and RHB Bank 13 sen to RM5.05.
Under CGS-CIMB Equities Research's new scoring methodology, Public Bank and Hong Leong Bank are top scorers for banks' defensiveness against credit risks.
In its report on Thursday, it said Public Bank and Hong Leong Bank scored the highest at 37 to 38 points versus peers’ 10 to 24 points.
Meanwhile, Tenaga shed two sen to RM11.24, IHH four sen to RM5.43, Sime Darby 10 sen to RM2.32, GentingM four sen to RM2.51 and Genting seven sen to RM4.09.
Among the plantations, IOI Corp lost four sen to RM4.52, PPB Group 52 sen to RM18.48 and Sime Plantation five sen to RM5.20 but KL Kepong's strong earnings saw it buck the trend to end 24 sen higher at RM23.56.
US light crude oil retreated 45 cents to US$41.37 and Brent 27 cents lower at US$44.07.
However, Petronas Gas's stronger results saw it end up 14 sen to RM16.32, Petronas Dagangan 12 sen to RM19.62 and Petronas Chemicals two sen higher at RM6.77. Dialog was flat at RM3.63.
Among the glove makers, Hartalega lost 32 sen to RM14.10 and Top Glove seven sen to RM6.94.
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