Share prices on Bursa Malaysia ended the morning session easier today, with investors being cautious ahead of the Budget 2014 and Umno elections, dealers said.
At mid-day, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) was 5.2 points lower at 1,772.3, after fluctuating between 1,775.04 and 1,771.5 throughout the morning session.
Losses were mostly seen in banking stocks and key heavyweights led by DiGi, which saw its share decline by eight sen to RM4.89 with 3.489 million lots changing hands.
The telecommunications counter dragged the composite index down by 1.12 points.
A dealer said weak market sentiment due to uncertainty over external developments coupled with overnight losses on Wall Street curbed buying interest.
On the scoreboard, the Finance Index fell 57.64 points to 16,509.47, the Plantation Index declined 21.28 points to 8,327.5, and the Industrial Index shed 0.95 point to 3,041.24.
The FBM Emas Index lost 30.01 points to 12,335.49, the FBM100 Index decreased 28.87 points to 12,074.09, and the FBM 70 slipped 6.68 points to 14,108.12.
Meanwhile, the FBM Ace perked 2.77 points to 5,376.56.
Decliners beat advancers 309 to 226, with 337 counters unchanged, 739 untraded and 15 others suspended.
Volume stood at 858.938 million shares worth RM592.186 million.
Among actives, Naim Indah inched up half-a-sen to 13 sen, Sersol added one sen to 46.5 sen, but Green Packet lost 6.5 sen to 53.5 sen.
Of the heavyweights, Petronas Chemicals gained four sen to RM6.90 while Sime Darby was flat at RM9.45.
However, CIMB fell four sen to RM7.42, while both Maybank and Axiata Group slipped two sen each to RM9.85 and RM6.90 respectively.-- Bernama