KUALA LUMPUR: Sustained selling pressure on the final trading day of July saw the key FBM KLCI falling below the psychological important level of 1,500 in late afternoon on Friday, tracking the weaker Asian markets.
At 3.38pm, the KLCI was down 13.15 points or 0.87% to 1,499.78. Turnover was 3.20 billion shares valued at RM1.68bil. Decliners beat advancers seven to two or 702 losers to 222 gainers and 386 counters were unchanged.
Weighing on the KLCI were KL Kepong, PPB Group and Hong Leong Bank. KLK fell 44 sen to RM18.82, PPB 16 sen to RM18.10 and HL Bank 14 sen to RM18.
Rapid Synergy fell 20 sen to RM7.93, BIG Industries 17 sen to RM1.44 and Mercury Industries 16 sen to RM1.17 while Edaran lost 14 sen to RM1.02.
Vitrox was down 14 sen to RM18.76.
On the external front, Reuters reported Japan's Nikkei stock average closed at its lowest since the start of the year on Friday as spiking Covid-19 cases, some earnings disappointments and a decline in U.S. stock futures dented investor sentiment.
The Nikkei ended 1.8% lower at 27,283.59, its biggest decline since June 21 and the lowest close since Jan. 6. It dipped as far as 27,272.49 earlier in the session.
South Korean shares tumbled more than 1% on Friday, and posted its worst monthly decline in more than a year, weighed by continued worries about the Chinese government's regulatory crackdown and the pandemic.