KLCI ends lower as investors wait on the sidelines

KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI ended lower on Thursday, with buying interest interspersed with profit-taking.

The benchmark index edged down 1.58 points, or 0.1% to 1,579.90 at closing.

On the broader market, gainers outnumbered losers by 520 to 436 while 478 counters unchanged. Trading volume was lower at 4.91 billion shares worth RM2.73bil against 5.99 billion shares valued at RM3.19bil on Wednesday. The total traded value today is the lowest since April 5, 2021.

Dealers said investors remained on the sidelines amid lack of market-moving catalysts. In addition, they said investors are also monitoring the political situation in the country.

Transocean, the top gainer on Bursa Malaysia jumped 64 sen to RM4.24. IJM Plantations surged 60 sen to RM3.06, Kobay added 54 sen to RM2.37 and Heineken gained 48 sen to RM24.66.

Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd (KLK) has proposed to acquire a 56.2% stake in IJM Plantations held by IJM Corp Bhd for RM1.53bil cash or RM3.10 per share.

Top losers on Bursa Malaysia included F&N, MPI, Genting Plantations and Careplus.

Among the banks, Maybank and RHB Bank fell two sen each to RM8.18 and RM5.36 respectively. CIMB shed three sen to RM4.62 while Public Bank and Hong Leong Bank closed unchanged at RM4.20 and RM18.84 respectively.

Supermax fell five sen to RM3.82, Top Glove declined four sen to RM4.80 and Hartalega gave up one sen to RM8.42.

Meanwhile, oil prices fell as inventory data in the United States showed a surge in gasoline stocks that indicates weaker-than-expected fuel demand at the start of summer, the country's peak season for motoring, Reuters reported.

Brent crude oil futures were down 36 cents, or 0.5%, at US$71.86 a barrel by 0651 GMT, while U.S. oil futures declined by 35 cents, or 0.5%, to US$69.61 a barrel.

Reuters reported that MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.46%, while Japan's Nikkei index closed up 0.34%.

The Hang Seng index was down 3.75 points or 0.01% at 28,738.88 while China’s CSI300 index rose 0.7%, to 5,271.47.

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