KUALA LUMPUR: Share prices on Bursa Malaysia were lower across the board as investors turned cautious ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting on Wednesday, dealers said.
At 5 pm, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) fell 3.51 points to 1,621.04 from last Friday’s closing of 1,624.55.
The benchmark index, which opened 0.44 of a point higher at 1,624.99, hovered between 1,619.09 and 1,629.19.
The local bourse also moved in line with regional trend. Japan’s Nikkei 225 declined 2.28 points to 8,869.37, Singapore’s Straits Times Index fell 1.66 points to 3,010.04 and South Korea’s Kospi Composite Index slipped 4.88 points to 1,924.70.
Most investors expected the Fed would announce another round quantitative easing during its meeting on Wednesday to stimulate a sluggish economy, dealers said.
They said that lingering concerns remained over global financial markets growth after China released poor August trade and sluggish industrial production and investment data.
“The index appears technically vulnerable ahead of the US Fed meeting. As a result, Bursa will remain in consolidation mode for a while,” a dealer said.
The benchmark index might just oscillate sideways between 1,600 and 1,655 amid short-term pressures, Malaysia Equity Research said in a note.
Another dealer said local stocks should stabilise as the country’s positive fundamentals remained intact.
This was supported by accommodative central bank monetary policy, huge international reserves, steady ringgit, tame inflation and continuous government spending ahead of the election, the dealer said.
The Finance Index slipped 27.699 points to 14,482.11, the Industrial Index fell 4.69 points to 2,813.7 and the Plantation Index declined 32.27 points to 8,383.36.
The FBM Emas Index decreased 43.239 points to 11,029.44; FBMT100 was 38.83 points lower at 10,867.6; FBM70 eased 114.87 points to 11,954.11 while the FBM Ace Index dropped 48.17 points to 4,393.91.
Losers led gainers 520 to 220 while 297 counters closed unchanged, 587 untraded and 30 others suspended.
Total turnover declined to 876.44 million shares valued at RM1.44 billion from 1.14 billion shares worth RM1.72 billion last Friday.
Among active stocks, Ingenuity Solutions and Hubline were flat at 26.5 sen and 11 sen, respectively, while Nextnation Communication fell one sen to 11 sen.
Of heavyweights, Maybank appreciated 14 sen to RM9.17, Sime Darby was flat at RM9.79 and CIMB lost one sen to RM7.40.
Among top gainers, Batu Kawan added 26 sen to RM18.86, I-Bhd increased 15 sen to RM1.17 and Malaysia Packaging rose 9.5 sen to 43 sen.
As for top losers, BAT shed RM1.48 sen to RM63.00, while Petronas Dagangan and F&N slipped 28 sen each to RM19.18 and RM21.46 respectively.
Volume on the Main Market decreased to 572.2 million units worth RM1.393 billion from 753.74 million units valued at RM1.67 billion last Friday.
Turnover on the ACE Market dwindled to 253.62 million shares valued at RM42.90 million from 314.59 million shares worth RM47.52 million previously.
Warrants declined to 46.08 million units valued at RM2.71 million from 67.21 million units valued at RM4.58 million.
Consumer products accounted for 48.61 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products 102.31 million, construction 18.201 million, trade and services 241.55 million, technology 23.504 million, infrastructure 9.31 million, finance 58.3 million, hotels 6.83 million, properties 37.54 million, plantations 21.5 million, mining 134,100, REITs 4.4 million and closed/fund