KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips on the FBM KLCI continued to slide on the final day of the corporate earnings season as the negative sentiment on the global scene spilled over onto the local market.
Amid other uncertainties, local investors are also waiting for the formation of the new Cabinet, which would provide more insight as to the structure of the new government and the direction of its policies.
at 9.05am, the FBM KLCI was down 3.88 points to 1,473.08. There were 146 gainers compared with 156 decliners.
Trading volume was 354.48 million shares valued at RM75.8mil.
Malacca Securities Research said investors could focus on undervalued gems on the market as earnings reports are scheduled to trickle in later in the day. However, the market is expected to remain defensive, it said.
"Given the uncertain setup, we expect investors to focus on defensive sectors such as the telco, utility as well as consumer sectors.
"Meanwhile, we opine that the focus may shift to construction and building material stocks ahead of the re-tabling of Budget 2023. Besides, the O&G sector could do well under the firm Brent oil environment," it added.
Energy and oil-related counters were the biggest laggards in early morning trade as Brent crude prices hovered near the US$83 a barrel mark, its lowest since January this year.
Continued uncertainty over China's lockdown measures amid public protests also weighed on the outlook for crude as it triggered fears the country could struggle to put its economy back on track.
Hengyuan fell 98 sen to RM3.57, PETRONAS Gas dropped 22 sen to RM16.50 and Petron Malaysia slid 10 sen to RM4.38.
PETRONAS Chemicals also shed 10 sen to RM4.38 while Tenaga Nasional lost eight sen to RM8.94.
Bank counters meanwhile were also down. Maybank dropped five sen to RM8.65, RHB slid one sen to RM5.66, Public Bank fell two sen to RM4.39 and CIMB shed six sen to RM5.76.
Press Metal dropped 11 sen to RM4.69 while IHH slid seven sen to RM5.88.