KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips fell in early Friday trade with banks and plantation stocks among the losers amid a weaker broader market but MMC Corp and its call warrants dominated the top gainers list.
At 9.40am, the FBM KLCI was down by 12.29 points or 0.77% to 1,578.28. Turnover was 1.62 billion shares valued at RM605.84mil. There were 239 gainers, 433 losers and 332 counters unchanged.
Asian stocks followed Wall Street lower on Friday as signs of a strengthening US recovery boosted bets for higher inflation and an earlier tapering of Federal Reserve stimulus, Reuters reported.
Japan's Nikkei fell 0.8% early in the Asian session, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was off 0.3%. Chinese blue chips slipped about 0.1% at the open.
At Bursa on Thursday, foreign funds turned net sellers at RM61.2mil but local retailers were net buyers at RM57.1m and local funds at RM4.1mil.
MMC hit limit-up after Seaport Terminal (Johore) Sdn Bhd said it plans to privatise MMC by way of a selective capital reduction and repayment (SCR) exercise at RM2 a share.
MMC surged 39 sen to RM1.69. All its call warrants also surged in tandem with the share price.
Zelan jumped 4.5 sen to 18 sen with 264 million share done, the first time in many years, as speculators chased up the stock on privatisation hopes also.
Serba Dinamik was down one sen to 82.5 sen with nearly 67 million shares done.
MPI fell the most, down 38 sen to RM38.90 and Frontken 11 sen to RM2.99.
As for KLCI stocks, HLFG lost 22 sen to RM17.72, KL Kepong 20 sen to RM21.64, Hong Leong Bank 16 sen to RM18.32 and PPB Group 14 sen to RM18.42.
Widetec lost 14 sen to RM2.78.
Oil prices dropped on Friday as concerns about the patchy roll-out of anti-coronavirus vaccinations around the globe tempered optimism earlier in the week that demand for fuels was recovering from the depths of the pandemic, Reuters reported.
Brent crude was down 29 cents, or 0.4%, at $71.02 a barrel by 0057 GMT, after falling 4 cents on Thursday following a gain to the highest since May 2019. The contract is on track for a gain of nearly 2% this week.
US oil also fell 29 cents, or 0.4%, to $68.52, having dropped 2 cents in the previous session, while heading for a gain of more than 2% this week.