KLCI ends lower as oil prices tumble

-A +A

KUALA LUMPUR (May 24): After a volatile trading session, the FBM KLCI sank into negative territory at the eleventh hour, ending the day down 3.55 points or 0.22% at 1,598.32.

The key index closed lower for the third straight session, dragged by selected heavyweights such as Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd, Sime Darby Plantation Bhd and Petronas Dagangan Bhd, said Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd senior analyst Kenneth Leong.

He told theedgemarkets.com that oil and gas stocks such as Petronas Dagangan and Dialog Group Bhd had been affected by the weakness in the price of Brent crude oil, which has fallen below the US$70 per barrel psychological mark. Brent crude was trading at US$68.59 at the time of writing.

On the broader market, a total of 408 stocks closed in the red today versus 328 stocks that recorded gains. Some 1.89 billion shares changed hands for a total of RM1.55 billion.

The most actively traded stocks were Vortex Consolidated Bhd, Lambo Group Bhd and Impiana Hotels Bhd.

Across Asia, markets ended the week mixed as investors were torn between fears of heightened US-China trade tensions and hope that the world's two largest economies would reach a settlement soon, Reuters reported.

Japan's Nikkei closed down 0.16% and South Korea's Kospi declined 0.69%. Meanwhile, China's CSI300 rebounded slightly by 0.28%.