KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 7 — Bursa Malaysia slid further on Thursday as Wall Street declined overnight, with investors cautious ahead of US and China economic data while a sharp fall in oil prices further dampened sentiment.

At 9.09am, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) gave up 0.51 points to 1,445.31 from Wednesday’s close of 1,445.82.

The barometer index opened 2.93 points easier at 1,442.89.

The market breadth was mixed with 147 gainers and 132 decliners, while 238 counters were unchanged, 1,805 untraded and 35 others suspended. Turnover amounted to 212.24 million units worth RM82.49 million.

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US employment data will be released on Friday, likely causing investors to remain cautious. On top of that, the Brent oil price tanked another 3.65 per cent to trade around US$74 per barrel as a larger-than-expected rise in US gasoline inventories extended worries on fuel demand.

On Wall Street, stocks ended lower despite signs of a slowing jobs market after payrolls processing firm ADP showed private sector employment in the US increased less than expected in November.

Closer to home, China will release its trade figures for November today.

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Rakuten Trade equity research vice-president Thong Pak Leng reckons that bargain-hunting activities may emerge anytime soon as the decline of the local bourse has been broad-based.

“We believe interest may return to the construction and financial stocks after recent selling activities, thus expect the index to trend within the 1,445-1,455 range today,” he said.

Heavyweight counters Maybank and Public Bank recovered modestly, gaining one sen each to RM9.01 and RM4.26 respectively. CIMB eased two sen to RM5.73 and Tenaga Nasional was five sen weaker at RM9.94 while Petronas Chemicals was flat at RM7.03.

As for the most active counters, Classita lost half-a-sen to 5.0 sen while newly listed CPE Technology dipped 11.5 sen to 95.5 sen. Leform and PUC were unchanged at 35 sen and 4.0 sen, respectively.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index fell 2.92 points to 10,652.38, the FBMT 100 Index dropped 2.81 points to 10,321.63 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index lost 6.95 points to 10,789.05.

The FBM 70 Index shaved 0.91 of-a-point to 13,974.85, 94 and the FBM ACE Index lost 23.57 points to 5,118.13.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index improved 14.76 points to 16,326.97, the Plantation Index slipped 9.82 points to 6,966.91 and the Energy Index edged down 4.32 points to 797.68. The Industrial Products and Services Index fell 0.21 of-a-point to 169.81. — Bernama