KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 31): The FBM KLCI slipped 14.82 points or 0.88% today amid sluggish trade a day before the Federal Territories Day tomorrow, right after the Chinese New Year weekend.
The KLCI ended at 1,671.54 points, dragged down by stocks such as Tenaga Nasional Bhd, British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd (BAT) and Telekom Malaysia Bhd.
Mercury Securities Sdn Bhd research head Edmund Tham said trading activity was passive as there was no catalytic news flow amid uncertainties in the market.
"It is slightly down when people are not around. The volume is low because of the holiday session," he said when contacted by theedgemarkets.com.
At market close, there were 367 decliners versus 354 advancers and 327 counters were unchanged. Across Bursa Malaysia, a total of 1.16 billion shares worth RM1.61 billion were traded.
The top gainer was United Plantations Bhd while BAT led the decliners list. The most actively-traded counter was AirAsia Bhd.
Across Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.69%, and South Korea's Kospi slipped 0.77%.
The ringgit, meanwhile, strengthened to 4.4285 against the greenback at 5pm.
Reuters reported that Japan's Nikkei share average posted the biggest daily decline since November on Tuesday as uncertainty over US President Donald Trump's policies weighed on investor sentiment.
The Nikkei fell 1.7% to 19,041.34 points, the biggest daily percentage drop since Nov 9 last year, after Trump was elected as US president.
Global stocks registered their biggest loss in six weeks after Trump signed an executive order on Friday to ban travel to the US from seven Muslim-majority countries, including legal residents and visa holders, and temporarily halted the entry of refugees.
Over the weekend, thousands of people rallied in major US cities and at airports in protest.
Traders said investors unloaded risky assets by selling both cash stocks and futures. They were also disappointed by weak earnings from some companies.