KUALA LUMPUR (June 9): The FBMKLCI closed lower in tandem with the regional bourses, amidst absence of fresh buying impetus and investors staying on the line ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s meeting on June 14.
At the closing bell, the benchmark index pared some intra-day losses to settle at 1,650.51 points, down 7.34 points or 0.44% from yesterday's close of 1,657.85 points.
The key index had hit a day’s low of 1,650.38 points.
Among the top 30 component stocks, PPB Group Bhd led decliners by sliding 38 sen to RM15.96, followed by Petronas Dagangan Bhd and Petronas Gas Bhd — both fallen 20 sen; while AMMB Holdings Bhd dropped 18 sen.
When contacted, Mercury Securities research head Edmund Tham expects the market to remain having no clear direction until the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy-setting committee meets next week on June 14 and June 15.
Notwithstanding that, he said the strengthening of the ringgit and recovery of crude oil prices should lend some support to the local bourse.
"The ringgit, which (has been trading) around 4.0000 level, (can be) considered as not so weak," Tham said, adding that oil prices having stayed above US$50 per barrel, was also good news for the country.
As at 5 p.m. today, the ringgit gained 0.38% against the greenback to 4.0470, as it appreciated 0.22% to 2.9960 versus the Singapore dollar.
In the commodity market, Brent Crude fell 0.32% at US$52.34 per barrel, while U.S. Crude dropped 0.12% at US$51.17 per barrel.
Market breadth is negative with 372 losers versus 347 gainers, while 395 counters were unchanged. A total of 1.74 billion shares, worth RM1.61 billion, exchanged hands for the day.
Top gainer was United Plantations Bhd, while the most actively-traded stock was Bumi Armada Bhd.
On the regional front, Japan's Nikkei 225 closed down 0.97%, while South Korea's Kospi fell 0.14%. Hong Kong was closed today for a holiday.