KUALA LUMPUR: Bank stocks dragged the FBM KLCI into the red on Friday, with Public Bank and Maybank among the biggest losers, while the broader market was weaker with over 860 counters in the red.
Investors wound down their positions ahead of the weekend and Christmas holidays next week as trading was expected to be much lower.
Sentiment was also impacted by weaker key Asian markets after Reuters reported that the United States is set to add dozens of Chinese companies, including the country's top chipmaker SMIC, to a trade blacklist later in the day.
Among the key Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.16%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index lost 0.67%, Shanghai Composite 0.28% lower and Taiwan's TAIEX 0.06% while Singapore's Straits Times Index was down by 0.19%.
At 5pm, the KLCI was down 21.86 points or 1.31% to 1,652.49 and it was the worst performer among the Asian markets. Turnover was 8.06 billion shares valued at RM4.38bil. The broader market was weaker with 864 losers, 378 gainers and 454 counters unchanged.
Public Bank fell 86 sen to RM20.64. It was the biggest decliner on Bursa as investors took profit after the volatile rally following its four-for-one bonus issue last week. Its decline erased 6.43 points from the KLCI.
Maybank fell 24 sen to RM8.46 and wiped out 5.20 points, RHB Bank 16 sen to RM5.39, Hong Leong Bank 12 sen to RM18.58 and CIMB two sen to RM4.38. HLFG rose 52 sen to RM18.56.
Among the telcos, Axiata and Maxis lost eight sen each to RM3.87 and RM5.01 while Digi shed three sen to RM4.18 but Telekom rose six sen to RM5.41.
Crude palm oil for third month delivery rallied RM61 to RM3,439 per tonne. However the rally in CPO prices could not uplift investor sentiment in plantations.
KL Kepong fell 72 sen to RM24.08, PPB Group 28 sen to RM18.62, Sime Plantation eight sen to RM5.08 and IOI Corp five sen to RM4.40.
US light crude oil inched up nine cents to US$48.45 and Brent four cents to US$51.54.
Petronas Dagangan rallied RM1.30 to RM21.24 and added 2.49 points, Petornas Chemicals gained two sen to RM7.58 but Petronas Gas shed 10 sen to RM17.30 and Dialog lost three sen to RM3.38.
Refiners Hengyuan fell 40 sen to RM5.77 and Petron 28 sen to RM5.12.
MISC lost 24 sen to RM6.43, MAHB 23 sen to RM5.78, Genting 13 sen to RM4.65, GentingM four sen to RM2.74 and Tenaga two sen to RM10.78.
As for glove makers, Top Glove and Supermax shed six sen each to RM6.64 and RM6.84 and Hartalega two sen to RM12.36.
The ringgit slipped 0.06% against the US dollar to 4.0363.