KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI closed at the day's low on Wednesday, weighed down losses in banks and gloves as buying sentiment remained weak due to the rising Covid-19 numbers and also tracking the downbeat key Asian markets.
The KLCI closed down 12.58 points or 0.79% to 1,575.67. Turnover was 7.36 billion shares valued at RM4.23bil. Decliners beat advancers eight to three or 811 losers to 299 gainers and 416 counters were unchanged.
Of the 30 stocks in the KLCI, only Telekom was in the positive zone, reflecting the lack of buying support for the big capitalised stocks.
The rising Covid-19 cases weighed on investors' confidence and ahead of the government's move to impose the Movement Control Order in most parts of Selangor.
Malaysia recorded 3,744 fresh Covid-19 infections and 17 deaths on Wednesday. Selangor reported 1,548 new cases.
Meanwhile, Reuters reported India accounted for nearly half of the Covid-19 cases reported worldwide last week, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday, as the country's coronavirus deaths rose by a record 3,780 during the last 24 hours.
The WHO said in its weekly epidemiological report that India accounted for 46% of global cases and 25% of global deaths reported in the past week.
Among the key Asian markets, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 0.49%, Taiwan's Taiex 0.53% and Singapore's Straits Times Index lost 0.8%.
At Bursa, among the banks, Maybank fell three sen to RM8.21 and erased 0.52 point from the KLCI, Public Bank shed one sen to RM4.11, CIMB five sen to RM4.06 and Hong Leong Bank 12 sen to RM17.66.
Petronas Chemicals eased by two sen to RM8.16, Petronas Gas 12 sen to RM15.60 and Petronas Dagangan eight sen to RM19.66. Dialod shed three sen to RM3 despite the firmer crude oil prices.
The stocks were unable to attract strong fund buying despite the firmer oil prices.
Oil prices rose for a third day as easing of lockdowns in the United States and parts of Europe heralded a boost in fuel demand in summer season and offset concerns about the rise of Covid-19 infections in India and Japan, Reuters reported.
Brent crude rose 91 cents, or 1.3%, to $69.79 a barrel at 0851 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 82 cents, or 1.3%, to $66.51 a barrel.
Tenaga Nasional was down by seven sen to RM9.90 and chiped 0.6 of a point from the index. IHH Healthcare lost six sen to RM5.20.
Despite the supernormal profits, glove makers continued to retreat as Top Glove lost 13 sen to RM5.32 and wiped out 1.63 points while Hartalega lost 10 sen to RM9.83 and erased 0.52 of a point.
Supermax was down by 25 sen to RM5.57 ahead of the release of its super-normal profits for the third quarter after market close.
Careplus lost 32 sen to RM2.46, Adventa 24 sen to RM1.95 and Comfort 20 sen to RM2.45.
Among the telcos, Axiata was down five sen to RM3.65 abd Digi two sen to RM4.18. Maxis siux sen to RM4.50 but Telekom rose five sen to RM5.72.
Crude palm oil for third month delivery rose RM15 to RM4,056 per tonne.
But again, the firmer prices did not benefit the plantations. Sime Plantation eased one sen to RM4.54, IOI Corp three sen to RM4.04, KL Kepong 48 sen to RM21.60 and PPB Group six sen to RM18.50.
Among the tech stocks, Vitrox fell 34 sen to RM15.40, Unisem 25 sen to RM7.65 and UWC 22 sen to RM5.63.
The ringgit firmed up 0.05% to 4.1193 aganst the US dollar.