At 5pm, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia Composite Index (FBM KLCI) fell 6.16 points or 0.39% to 1,588.58, as most of the 30 counters of the key benchmark index traded lower on selling pressure.
The CI had opened 0.4 of a point higher at 1,595.14 and moved between 1,584.20 and 1,597.08 throughout trade today.
One dealer said the unexpected higher unemployment data in the US and worries that the Euro debt crisis was spreading to Italy, on top of Greece’s debt, kept investors away from the market.
“However, we don’t expect this trend to persist too long,” he said, adding that oil and gas stocks were among those that performed well.
He said news of the merger between Kencana Petroleum and SapuraCrest Petroleum provided support to the local bourse.
The dealer also said that plantation stocks were among the stocks favoured by investors including that of Kuala Lumpur Kepong, which rose 14 sen to RM22.80.
He said the price of crude palm oil was also expected to rise further ahead of Hari Raya.
At close, the Plantation Index lost one point to 7,909.97, the Finance Index fell 58.70 points to 14,980.04 and the Industrial Index declined 3.41 points to 2,879.21.
The FBM Emas Index decreased 38.95 points to 10,895.38, the FBM Ace Index declined 16.73 points to 4,163.92 and the FBM70 Index shed 23.99 points to 11,847.71.
The market breadth overall today was negative with losers outnumbering gainers 460 to 237 while 304 counters were unchanged, 487 untraded and 37 others suspended.
A total of 712.48 million shares valued at RM1.293 billion were traded today against 810.53 million shares worth RM1.57 billion last Friday.
Actively-traded Time Engineering Bhd-OS lost four sen to 14 sen, Xidelang Holdings shed 3.5 sen to 37 sen while Key West Global Telecomm added half-a-sen to 14.5 sen.
Among top gainers, YTL Cement rose 65 sen to RM3.50, Petronas Dagangan added 32 sen to RM17.42 and Pulai Spings Bhd gained 30 sen to 80 sen.
As for heavyweights, Maybank lost one sen to RM8.98, CIMB shed 10 sen to RM8.82 and Petronas Chemical fell one sen to RM7.10.
The Main Market volume decreased to 559.48 million shares worth RM1.26 billion from 602.84 million shares worth RM1.52 billion last Friday.
Turnover on the ACE Market fell to 92.03 million units valued at RM17.989 million from 93.06 million units valued at RM14.91 million previously.
Warrants eased to 56.64 million units worth RM14.94 million from 103.42 million units worth RM30.84 million previously.
Consumer products accounted for 78.18 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products 83.989 million, construction 38.38 million, trade and services 1.84 billion, technology 8.896 million, infrastructure 10.93 million, finance 64.32 million, hotels 325,000, properties 73.12 million, plantations 11.71 million, mining 4,500, REITs 5.37 million and closed/fund 98,000.