Blue chips closed Wednesday on a disappointing note as late selling of Tenaga Nasional, Public Bank and Petronas Gas sent the FBM KLCI skidding.
At 5pm, the KLCI was down 12.62 points or 0.91% to 1,376.93. Turnover was 5.89 billion shares valued at RM2.80bil. The broader market was mixed with 445 gainers, 441 losers and 397 counters unchanged.
The KLCI has managed to penetrate the key 1,400 level on several occasions in recent weeks but it was unable to hold on to the gains due to worrying threats from the US and the Covid-19 pandemic which has ravaged economies.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside of Japan climbed 0.7%. Volumes were light with Japanese markets closed for a holiday, Reuters reported.
China, opening for the first time since Thursday, reversed early losses, sending the blue-chip index up 0.6%.
Reuters reported oil rose above $31 a barrel as hopes for a recovery in demand as some countries ease coronavirus lockdowns offset a report showing a higher-than-expected rise in U.S. inventories.
Brent crude has almost doubled since hitting a 21-year low reached on April 22, supported by expectations demand will recover and by a record supply cut led by Opec.
Brent was up 45 cents, or 1.5%, at $31.42 a barrel at 0830 GMT, having risen in the past six sessions. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude added 27 cents, or 1.1%, to $24.83.
Refiners Hengyuan and Petron were among the gainers. Hengyuan added 17 sen to RM3.68 and Petron 14 sen to RM4.37.
However, Petronas Gas lost 22 sen to RM14.98, Petronas Chemicals shed three sen to RM5.47 while Petronas Dagangan was unchanged at RM20.50.
Tenaga Nasional skidded 22 sen to RM12.16, Sime Darby fell six sen to RM1.92, GentingM lost two sen to RM2.35 and Genting shed one sen to RM4.10.
Public Bank fell 32 sen to RM15.74, Hong Leong Bank 10 sen to RM13.20, Maybank seven sen to RM7.41 while AmBank and CIMB lost two sen each to RM2.92 and RM3.41.
Among the plantations, Ayer Hitam was the top loser, down 36 sen to RM5.14, KL Kepong lost 18 sen to RM20.62, IOI Corp three sen to RM3.92, PPB Group was unchanged at RM16.24 while Sime Plantation added one sen to RM4.79. FGV rose 8.5 sen to 94.5 sen in active trade while TDM added 2.5 sen to 23 sen.
Glove makers were mixed with Hartalega down 16 sen to RM7.25 and Top Glove 13 sen to RM7.08 but Supermax jumped 21 sen to RM2.86.
Among the consumer stocks, Nestle fell 30 sen to RM139.30, Heineken 22 sen to RM23.66 while Dutch Lady lost 20 sen to RM47.60.
G3 surged 66 sen to RM2.86 and the warrants 61 sen higher at RM2.65 with the buying seen overdone. It is partnering Malaysia Automotive Robotics and IOT institute to jointly market and deploy thermal imaging products manufactured by SenseTime.