At 5pm, the KLCI was down 6.18 points or 0.35% to 1,758.06 – the lowest since July 21. Turnover was 2.31 billion shares valued at RM2.19bil. Decliners beat advancers 473 to 316 while 413 counters were unchanged.
The ringgit weakened against key currencies, falling 0.23% to the US dollar to 4.2310; edging 0.05% lower to the pound sterling to 5.6526; down 0.12% to the Singapore dollar at 3.1067 and down 0.54% to the euro at 4.9780.
Analysts said foreign funds were behind the selling pressure ahead of a very likely interest rate hike in the US by December and the rising tensions on the Korean peninsula.
Reuters reported emerging equities hit one-month lows on Thursday, set for their longest losing streak since May last year, and Turkey’s lira and South Africa’s rand touched multi-month lows as the dollar and US yields rose.
A 0.6% fall in MSCI’s emerging stocks index extended the benchmark’s sell-off into a sixth straight session. The dollar powered to near one-month highs and U.S. 10-year bond yields to near two-month highs.
US assets have strengthened after the Federal Reserve signalled further interest rate rises and on hopes that tax reform proposals from President Donald Trump will strengthen the economy.
At Bursa, Genting Malaysia fell 10 sen to RM5.32 and erased 0.97 of a point, MISC lost nine sen to RM7.30, Tenaga Nasional was down four sen to RM14.32 and Genting Bhd three sen to RM9.48.
Among the banks, RHB Bank loat nine sen to RM5.03, AmBank fell eight sen to RM4.31, CIMB three sen to RM6.27, Hong Leong Bank and Maybank two sen each to RM15.78 and RM9.80 while Public Bank was flat at RM20.58.
Insurer Allianz was the top loser, down 48 sen to RM14.02 with 30,300 shares done.
As for telcos, Axiata added three sen to RM5.21, Digi and Maxis fell one sen each to RM4.90 and RM5.79 while Telekom slipped seven sen to RM6.34.
Crude palm oil for third month delivery fell RM43 to RM2,704 per tonne. IOI Corp rose seven sen to RM4.58, KL Kepong gained six sen to RM24.54 but PPB Group fell 12 sen to RM16.84 while Sime Darby was flat at RM9.01.
Oil prices rose on Thursday, spurred by rising tension around northern Iraq following the autonomous Kurdistan region’s vote in favour of independence in a referendum, Reuters reported.
Crude oil prices advanced with US light crude up 54 cents to US$52.68 and Brent added 47 cents to US$58.37.Petronas Chemicals added one sen to RM7.30, Petronas Dagangan lost 16 sen to RM24.34 and Petronas Gas 12 sen to RM18.
Among the chip and tech related counters, burn-in tester KESM lost 20 sen to RM15.60 but MPI jumped 34 sen to RM13.28, SAM Engineering 24 sen to RM6.89. VS Industry 12 sen to RM2.65 and Globetronics 10 sen higher at RM6.11.
Magni-Tech gained 25 sen to RM6.50, Apex Healthcare 11 sen to RM5.01 and Hartalega 11 sen also to RM6.91.
Among the key regional markets,
Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.47% to 20,363.11;
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.8% to 17,421.60;
CSI 300 rose 0.04% to 3,822.54;
Shanghai’s Composite Index fell 0.17% to 3,339.64;
Hang Seng China Enterprise skidded 1.46% to 10, 874.52;
Taiwan’s Taiex lost 0.29% to 10,296.45;
South Korea’s Kospi inched up 0.02% to 2,373.14 and
Singapore’s Straits Times Index fell 0.28% to 3,227.14.
Spot gold rise US$1.46 to US$1,284.24.