FBM KLCI turns slightly lower as US Fed meeting looms

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's benchmark equity index was slightly lower at the lunch break amid a decline in regional markets as investors turn anxious ahead of key central bank meetings.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was down 0.77 points to 1,457.22. There were 425 gainers on the market compared to 389 decliners. Trading volume was 2.27 billion shares valued at RM1.07bil.

Blue chips on the decline included Hong Leong Bank, down 18 sen to RM19.88, Maybank falling three sen to RM8.90 and Maxis sliding four sen to RM4.09.

Top actives on the market included Sapura Energy down 0.5 sen to 5.5 sen, KNM up one sne to 11.5 sen and Mercury Securities rising 3.5 sen to 28.5 sen.

Meanwhile, regional markets retreated amid concerns over the Chinese property sector and in anticipation of the US Federal Reserve's rate hike decision tomorrow.

Japan's Nikkei fell 1% to 33,214 and South Korea's Kospi shed 0.4% to 2,563.

China's main market was unchanged at 3,126 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was also flat at 17,933.

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