KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia failed to hold on to its gains in early trade as market sentiment remained cautious, amid a dearth of fresh leads.
At 5pm, the FBM KLCI ended 4.67 points, or 0.29% lower at 1,597.73 after moving between a high of 1,608.05 and low of 1,594.33 during the session.
Falling counters outnumbered rising ones 580 to 429 on Bursa Malaysia while 469 counters were unchanged.
In today’s session, 20 of the KLCI-component stocks were traded lower while 10 counters rose.
Dealers said weakness was evident amongst the plantations and banking heavyweights as the key index underperformed the mostly positive regional peers.
KLK and PPB fell 24 sen each to RM22.92 and RM18.54 respectively. Sime Darby Plantation declined 11 sen to RM4.76, IOI Corp lost nine sen to RM4.21 and Hap Seng shed nine sen to RM8.30.
CIMB declined four sen to RM4.46, Maybank fell one sen to RM8.23 and Public Bank lost one sen to RM4.17.
On the broader market, MPI fell 44 sen to RM36.82, Vitrox declined 32 sen to RM14.48 and Unisem shed 27 sen to RM7.73.
Meanwhile, the ringgit declined 0.33% against the US dollar to 4.1458.
US light crude oil fell US$1.23 to US$59.95 and Brent declined US$1.13 to US$63.28.
On the external front, most of the key Asian markets closed higher with Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index closed 1.14% higher at 28,729.88 and the broader Topix rose 1.4% to close at 1,955.55.
South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.40%, to 3,008.33 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng
Reuters reported that China's blue-chip stock index closed at its lowest level in more than three months amid investor concern over possible policy tightening and rising tensions between China and major Western countries over Xinjiang.
China’s CSI300 index fell 0.05% to 4,926.35 while the Shanghai Composite index finished down 0.1% at 3,363.59 points.