KUALA LUMPUR: Share prices on Bursa Malaysia ended in red on Thursday following heavy selling pressure as the mood of investors turned risk-averse.
At closing, the FBM KLCI fell 17.13 points, or 1.1% to 1,538.80, its lowest in three months.
The broader market sagged, with decliners now overtaking advancers 874 to 209 while 336 counters were unchanged. Trading volume was brisk at 3.61 billion shares valued at RM2.5bil.
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Dealers think that the sentiments may stay cautious ahead of the gross domestic product (GDP) announcement tomorrow. Having said that, they believe bargain hunting activities may emerge.
The KLCI-component stocks were overwhelmingly in the negative, with 25 losers and two gainers.
Nestle shed 70 sen to RM132, Petronas Dagangan lost 64 sen to RM20.600, Kuala Lumpur Kepong fell 52 sen to RM26.38 and Press Metal declined 27 sen to RM4.80.
Hong Leong Bank added 10 sen to RM20.64 and IHH Healthcare climbed three sen to RM6.45.
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Among the banks, Maybank fell three sen to RM9.07, Public Bank lost two sen to RM4.63, CIMB eased five sen to RM5.05 and RHB Bank unchanged at RM6.15.
Serba Dinamik closed up 2.5 sen, or 41.67% to 8.5 sen with 352.32 million shares traded while Serba Dinamik-WA rose 0.5 sen, or 25% to 2.5 sen with 44.22 million shares done.
Heineken added 68 sen to RM24, Berjaya Food rose 35 sen to RM4.05 and Carlsberg gained 22 sen to RM22.02.
Meanwhile, the ringgit was quoted at 4.3913, up 0.33% against the US dollar.
Reuters reported that the US dollar hit a two-decade high on Thursday after US inflation moderated less than markets had expected, keeping the Federal Reserve on course to tighten policy aggressively.
The dollar index, which measures the buck against six major peers, added about 0.1% to 104.22, hitting its highest since December 2002.
Elsewhere in the region, Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.77% to 25,748.72, the lowest since March 15 while South Korea’s Kospi index lost 1.63% to 2,550.08.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 2.2%, to 19,380.34.
China’s CSI300 index fell 0.4% to 3,958.74 and the Shanghai Composite Index closed down 0.1% to 3,054.99 points.