SHARES on Bursa Malaysia closed lower ahead of the much-anticipated United States Federal Reserve policy meeting, dealers said.
The benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) fell 3.54 points to 1,771.4 from Tuesday's close at 1,774.94. The market barometer hovered between 1,769.69 and 1774.78.
A dealer said markets took a breather ahead of what was expected to be the first tentative step by the Fed as investors are cautiously anticipating the US central bank to cut its US$85 billion monthly asset buying today.
On the local scoreboard, the Finance Index firmed 56.57 points to 16,664.3, while the Industrial Index was up 1.07 points to 3,009.29. The Plantation Index dwindled 11.319 points to 8,330.86.
The FBM Emas Index fell 17.1 points to 12,290.57, the FBMT100 was 18.94 points lower at 12,041.17, the FBM 70 Index fell 0.99 point to 13,959.24 and the FBM ACE Index slipped 0.4 point to 5,152.37.
Gainers led losers by 405 to 312, with 320 counters unchanged, 551 untraded and 21 others suspended.
Among the heavyweights, Maybank and CIMB added two sen each to RM10.20 and RM7.60, respectively, while Petronas Chemicals earned three sen RM6.79. Axiata was unchanged at RM6.88, while Sime Darby fell one sen to RM9.49.
Meanwhile, FBM KLCI futures contracts on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives closed mostly higher on positive sentiment.
September was up two points to 1,767.5, while October and December rose three points each to 1,770 and 1,765, respectively. March 2014 was unchanged at 1,752.
Turnover fell to 4,574 lots from Tuesday's 7,615 lots, while open interest declined to 49,843 contracts from 51,902 previously. Bernama