KUALA LUMPUR: Jitters surrounding the United States (US) debt ceiling deal continued to dampen investors' sentiments this morning.
At 9.20 am, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) continued its downtrend, falling by 5.78 points to 1,381.34 from 1,387.12 at yesterday's close.
The key index opened 3.82 points weaker at 1,383.30.
The broader market was bearish with decliners thumping advancers 218 to 141, while 255 counters were unchanged, 1,626 untraded and 27 others suspended.
Turnover amounted to 327.35 million units worth RM158.25 million.
Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd equity research vice-president Thong Pak Leng said the US' Wall Street declined overnight, as Dow Jones fell by 0.4 per cent, S&P 500 slipped by 0.61 per cent and the Nasdaq 0.63 per cent weaker amidst persistent concern over the US debt situation and consequences.
In a note, Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd said the US' labour market tightness and stubbornly high recent inflation data may also continue to sap trading interest in the global equities market, including Bursa Malaysia.
On commodities, it said Brent crude oil tumbled towards US$72, while the crude palm oil price hovered above RM3,200, adding that selling may continue to take place in the related sectors.
Conversely, it said defensive sectors such as telecommunications and utilities may be in the limelight amidst the ongoing volatile market condition.
Among the heavyweights, Public Bank and CIMB gained one sen each to RM3.82 and RM4.83, respectively, while Maybank lost four sen to RM8.61, Tenaga Nasional was five sen weaker at RM9.46, Petronas Chemicals dipped 12 sen to RM6.44 and CelcomDigi eased two sen to RM4.45.
Among the actives, Classita bagged half-a-sen to 12 sen, while Synergy House reduced 5.5 sen to 37.5 sen, Alam Maritim Resources fell half-a-sen to 2.5 sen and Tanco and Radium Development were flat at 51 sen and 38.5 sen respectively.
On the index board, the FBM Emas Index slid 46.26 points to 10,196.83, the FBMT 100 Index was 45.81 points easier at 9,903.70, the FBM Emas Shariah Index erased 66.26 points to 10,540.25 and the FBM 70 Index fell 80.78 points to 13,576.09, while FBM ACE Index recovered 9.18 points to 4,956.42.
Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index trimmed 21.21 points to 15,185.53, the Industrial Products and Services Index lost 0.81 of-a-point to 158.30, the Plantation Index was 3.65 points lower at 6,597.43, and the Energy Index shed 7.63 points to 801.81.