KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 24 — Bursa Malaysia remained lower at midday on Monday, echoing the downtrend among most of its regional peers, dealers said.

At 12.30pm, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) dropped 4.28 points to 1,522.78 from 1,527.06 at Friday’s close.

The benchmark index opened 5.34 points lower at 1,521.72, and moved between 1,520.70 and 1,525.82 throughout the morning trading session.

Market breadth was negative with losers leading gainers 483 to 310, while 365 counters were unchanged, 1,111 untraded and 11 others suspended.

Turnover stood at 1.66 billion units worth RM925.49 million.

A trader said the lacklustre market performance in Asia was in line with the downtrend in Wall Street on Friday, amidst expectations that the United States Federal Reserve may give the signal to an interest rate hike later this week.

On the flip side, he said the benchmark FBM KLCI could also see better performance in the plantation stocks, backed by higher crude palm oil (CPO) prices and technology stocks due to the recent oversold condition.

“The energy index also saw some buying interest on higher crude oil price with Brent crude trading 0.88 per cent higher at US$88.66 per barrel,” he told Bernama.

Among the heavyweights, Maybank and CIMB dropped six sen each to RM8.22 and RM5.24, respectively, Public Bank was flat at RM4.18, Petronas Chemicals added one sen to RM8.90, IHH slipped eight sen to RM6.49, while Tenaga improved one sen to RM9.11.

Of the actives, Dagang NeXchange eased 2.5 sen to 96 sen, Coraza gained 12.5 sen to 78.5 sen and TWL was down half-a-sen to six sen.

On the index board, the FBM ACE increased 15.08 points to 6,139.60, while the FBM Emas Index weakened 22.00 points to 10,937.25, the FBMT 100 Index slipped 22.71 points to 10,642.74, the FBM Emas Shariah Index gained 0.31 of-a-point to 11,661.51, and the FBM 70 widened 2.55 points to 13,477.38.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index lost 91.62 points to 15,684.99, the Industrial Products and Services Index rose 0.03 of-a-point to 200.86, and the Plantation Index climbed 17.06 points to 6,716.34. — Bernama