Persistent selling in heavyweights, led by Maybank, dragged down the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) to its lowest intra-day level of 1,627.64 at the end of trading day today.
In the brisk trading, the barometer index lost 13.1 points or 0.798 per cent, after opening at 1,641.35.
Maybank, which contributed 3.296 points to FBM KLCI's decline, lost 21 sen or 2.28 per cent to RM9.
Affin Investment Bank Head of Retail Research Dr Nazri Khan said the local bourse was also dampened by wait-and-see investors' attitude and traders' caution ahead of the 13th general election.
"Based on historical trends, we however believe any downside and weakness weeks before the general election as good buying opportunities.
"Our studies show that over the last eight general elections, FBM KLCI will generally soften before the general election, stabilise immediately after and hit a new high within three months after the election," he told Bernama.
On the regional front, the Asian bourses were traded better as investor confidence emerged over the positive signs in the US economy.
"The biggest worry to investor positioning right now will be a reversal in the strong US housing and consumer story. However, the latest US retail sales data have overcome such fears," a
Decliners led advancers by 355 to 314, with 320 counters unchanged, 653 untraded and 20 others suspended.
Total volume rose to 972.34 million shares worth RM2.46 billion from 788.2 million shares valued at RM1.6 billion yesterday.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 8.64 points to 22,627.82, the Jakarta Composite surged 60.20 points to 4,846.56, Shanghai Composite added 6.04 points to 2,276.32 and Straits Times Index advanced 22.11 points to 3,301.61.
On the local front, the Finance Index dwindled 107.24 points to 15,182.81, Plantation Index tumbled 74.76 points to 7,835.5 and the Industrial Index erased 20.75 points to 2,804.81.
The FBM Emas Index slipped 66.74 points to 11,156.74, FBMT100 fell 68.19 points to 10,996.7 and the FBM Ace Index lost 11.66 points to 3,961.58.
The FBM Mid 70 Index, however, rose 15.75 points to 12,482.38.
Among heavyweights, Sime Darby eased 19 sen to RM9, DiGi lost 11 sen to RM4.47, Axiata shed 11 sen to RM6.30 and IOI Corp fell seven sen to RM4.65.
Of the losers, British American Tobacco slipped RM1.10 to RM58.78, Genting Plantations declined 40 sen to RM8.53, Kuala Lumpur Kepong shed 34 sen to RM20.26 and Hong Leong Financial erased 30 sen to RM14.32.
Of the actives, Sanichi Technologies slid 1.5 sen to 10 sen, GPRO Technologies eased one sen to 11 sen, Compugates Holdings was flat at nine sen, while Tebrau Teguh added two sen to RM1.12.
Volume on the Main Market advanced to 781.18 million shares worth RM2.43 billion from 603.05 million shares valued at RM1.57 billion yesterday.
Turnover on the ACE market dwindled to 163.06 million units worth RM19.1 million from 165.7 million units worth RM13.5 million Thursday.
Warrants advanced to 26.89 million shares valued at RM2.22 million from 17.68 million shares worth RM1.84 million yesterday.
Consumer products accounted for 37.13 million shares on the Main Market, industrial products 94.79 million, construction 33.16 million, trade and services 267.9 million, technology 41.94 million, infrastructure 47.65 million, finance 76.15 million, hotels 468,400, properties 86.53 million, plantations 74.98 million, mining 41,000, REITs 20.89 million and closed/fund 155,200.-- Bernama