Shares prices on Bursa Malaysia ended mixed, as support from selective buying on the overall market were negated by
sustained selling pressures in blue chips, dealers said.
The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) finished 1.6 points easier at 1,826.61, with 14 out of the 30 large stocks in the red, led by BAT and Petronas Gas.
The FBM KLCI opened 2.02 points lower at 1,826.19 and hovered between 1,822.25 and 1,827.95 throughout the day.
BAT, the biggest loser, fell 40 sen to RM62.80 followed by Allianz which shed 32 sen to RM12.62 and Petronas Gas lost 28 sen to RM23.00.
Heavyweights, Maybank fell four sen to RM9.81, Tenaga lost 14 sen to RM11.58 and Axiata was flat at RM6.75.
Volume leaders, Ingenuity Consolidated rose half-a-sen to 9.5 sen, Sona Petroleum-Wa gained 1.5 sen to 27.5 sen and Hubline added half-a-sen to 6.5 sen.
Overall, gainers outnumbered losers 406 to 378, while 324 were unchanged, 439 untraded and 25 others were suspended.
Volume rose to 1.91 billion shares, valued at RM2.07 billion, from yesterday's 1.85 billion shares worth RM1.95 billion.
An analyst said market sentiment was hurt following the lackluster performance on Wall Street yesterday and ahead of the crucial US December 2013 jobs report expected to be released tonight.
The key US equity barometers finished between flat and down 0.2 per cent on concerns that the US Federal Reserve might accelerate the pace of its unwinding quantitative easing programme.
Despite the year-start global cautious tone and volatility, the market showed staying power keeping their uptrend intact above the 1,800 points level, said Affin Investment Bank vice-president and head of retail research Dr Nazri Khan.
"This week was the first time the local stock market lost ground to start off the New Year, since 2003, on a low key," he told Bernama.
Meanwhile, the Finance Index fell 25.951 points to 16,731.02, the Plantation Index rose 10.59 points to 8,624.35 and the Industrial Index eased 12.1 points lower at 3,087.41.
The FBM Emas Index slipped 0.64 of a point to 12,659.44, the FBMT100 Index shed 6.17 points to 12,359.95, the FBM Ace rose 18.95 points to 5,961.18 and the FBM 70 added 11.32 points to 14,093.53.
Main Market's volume rose to 1.49 billion shares, worth RM1.96 billion, from 1.32 billion shares, valued at RM1.79 billion, recorded yesterday.
However, turnover on the ACE market declined to 370.54 million, valued at RM81.14 million, from 475.52 million shares, worth RM127.85 million, registered on Thursday.
Warrants also declined to 35.12 million shares, worth RM4.98 million, from 39.45 million shares, valued at RM5.07 million, transacted previously.
On sectoral basis, consumer products accounted for 193.86 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products 242.27 million, construction 61.97 million, trade and services 546.43 million, technology 48.5 million, infrastructure 16.4 million, SPAC 130.03 million, finance 42.93 million, hotels
1.57 million, properties 180.72 million, plantations 24.12 million, mining 17,000, REITs 5.77 million and closed/fund 40,000.-- Bernama