KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KCLI fell into negative territory as profit-taking erased earlier gains while energy stocks continued to gain weight on the back of rising crude oil prices.
At 12.30pm, the key index looked on track to a third straight day of declines after shedding 3.52 points to 1,591.77.
There was active trading on the stock exchange with 8.47 billion shares exchanging hands for RM3.67bil.
Bank stocks were seen losing weight with Maybank shedding six sen to RM8.03, Hong Leong Bank dropping 16 sen to RM18.24 and Public Bank sliding one sen to RM4.18.
Meanwhile glove counters were also in the red led by Top Glove falling eight sen to RM6.11, Hartalega dropping six sen to RM12.44 and Supermax slipping one sen to RM6.08.
The energy sector was overwhelmingly bullish on the back of Brent crude prices rising past US$65 a barrel.
Over the breadth of the Bursa Malaysa Energy Index, almost all counters were positive. Dayang rose six sen to RM1.50, Petron Malaysia added nine sen to RM5.28 and Uzma gained five sen to 72 sen.
The overall market was bearish, in line with the retreat seen in other Asian markets.
Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.5% and South Korea’s Kospi dove 1.3%.
China’s main index however was higher on its first day of post-Lunar New Year trading, rising 0.4%.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng however was down 1.2%.
Minutes from the day’s close, Australia’s ASX200 was unchanged.