KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 31): The benchmark index at Bursa Malaysia fell 17.2 points or 1.05% to 1,627.21 points today, as investors took profit on the last trading day of 2020 prior to the extended New Year weekend.
Losers led gainers by 620 to 474, while 501 counters traded unchanged. Some 5.51 billion shares worth RM3.11 billion were traded today.
The losers list was topped by Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, which slid 60 sen or 1.84% to RM32.08, Nestle (M) Bhd, which fell 60 sen or 0.43% to RM138.9, and Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, which dropped 52 sen or 2.15% to RM23.68.
Also on the losers list, at the 11th spot, was Sime Darby Plantation Bhd, which lost 18 sen or 3.48% to settle at RM4.99, following news that the United States has banned imports of palm oil from the group.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, Toyo Ventures Holdings Bhd and BLD Plantation Bhd were among the top gainers. MPI rose RM1.08 or 4.34% to RM25.96, while Toyo Ventures again hit limit up after surging 39 sen or 30% to RM1.69. BLD Plantation advanced 30 sen or 3.75% to RM8.30.
The most actively traded stocks were led by AT Systematization Bhd, which saw 206.85 million shares traded; followed by Solid Automotive Bhd with a trading volume of 128.22 million shares and Iris Corp Bhd with 122.59 million shares done.
Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd's head of research Kenny Yee said investors took profit after a year that saw the market climbing up too high and too fast.
“I believe market sentiment will improve on Monday, as local and foreign funds continue to flow into the blue chips,” he told theedgemarkets.com.
The only concern is the continued selling pressure on rubber glove companies, he said.
Most regional markets ended the year on a firmer note. Reuters reported China stocks rose to multi-year highs as investors cheered a Sino-Europe investment deal and Beijing’s policy support for its capital markets.
The Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index closed up 1.72% higher at 3,473.07 points; the Shenzhen Component Index also closed 1.89% higher at 14,470.68 points.