Intermittent bargain hunting was also noted for most parts of the day.
The underlying FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) finished 1.59 points better at 1,635.04, after fluctuating between 1,627.2 and 1,635.77 points.
The local bourse remained bearish since morning and only climbed up at the eleventh hour with gains noted in selected bluechips and index-linked counters such as Maybank, Maxis, Digi and Petronas Dagangan.
Dealers said the uncertainty over the outcome of the European Central Bank meeting and the lack of fresh stimulus from the US Federal Reserve kept investors sidelined.
However, Sanjay Singh, vice-president for Asia-Pacific Business Financial Services, Frost & Sullivan, said companies with strong fundamentals in growth sectors and with strong institutional support would be looked at favourably by retail investors as evident from the Felda Global Ventures Bhd and IHH Healthcare listings.
“We’ve heard about the postponements of some of the mega initial public offerings globally like F1 and Graff Diamonds. I believe investors are very choosy about the companies they would like to invest in,” he told Bernama.
Regionally, the markets traded on a mixed note with Japan’s Nikkei 225 edging down 98.07 points to 8,555.11 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dwindled 24.02 points to 19,666.18 and the Singapore Straits Times Index increased 15.14 points to 3,051.33.
On the local bouse, the Finance Index increased 24.11 points to 14,705.18 but the Plantation Index declined 54.46 points to 8,705.82 and the Industrial Index shed 17.54 points to 2,859.65.
The FBM Emas Index advanced 5.28 points to 11,187.93, the FBMT100 added 7.17 points to 11,015.01 but the FBM70 eased 8.7 points to 12,368.11 and the FBM Ace Index was 5.57 points lower at 4,442.1.
Losers led gainers 402 to 334 while 344 counters closed unchanged, 534 untraded and 15 others were suspended.
Total volume eased to 950.482 shares, worth 1.528 billion, from yesterday’s close of 1.175 billion shares valued at RM1.647 billion.
Among active stocks, Patimas Computers was flat at 3.5 sen while IRIS Corp added half-a-sen to 18 sen.
IHH Healthcare eased one sen to RM3.15 and Borneo Oil shed 1.5 sen to 52 sen.
Of heavyweights, Maybank rose four sen to RM8.84, Sime Darby improved two sen to RM9.81, CIMB chalked up three sen to RM7.92 and Petronas Chemicals firmed five sen to RM6.60.
Top gainers, F&N soared 86 sen to RM20.86, Petronas Dagangan increased 70 sen to RM21.96, Public Bank-Foreign improved 32 sen to RM14.50 and MHC Plantations-Warrant gained 31 sen to 31.5 sen.
Among top losers, PPB Group declined 44 sen to RM14.46, MMHE fell 28 sen to RM5.10 and Petronas Gas slipped 16 sen to RM19.08.
The Main Market volume fell to 698.963 million units, valued at RM1.485 billion, from 776.833 million units, worth RM1.588 billion, recorded yesterday.
Turnover on the ACE Market dropped to 166.355 million shares, worth RM33.055 million, from yesterday’s 300.273 million shares worth RM45.598 million.
Warrants eased to 83.285 million units, valued at RM9.386 million, from 93.622 million units, worth RM12.045 million, registered yesterday.
Consumer products accounted for 67.449 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products 101.538 million, construction 25.499 million, trade and services 255.241 million, technology 92.96 million, infrastructure 12.517 million, finance 43.167 million, hotels 918,300, properties 67 million, plantations 27.718 million, mining 2,000, REITs 4.773 million and closed/fund 176,000.