KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia reversed some of its earlier losses to end mixed today, driven by late buying support in selected industrial products and services counters led by Petronas Chemicals and Press Metal, dealers said.
The two counters contributed a combined 2.43 points to the gains in the barometer index, the dealers said.
At 5 pm, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) however slipped 1.09 points or 0.07 per cent to 1,563.20 from 1,564.29 at Tuesday's close.
The index opened 0.10 of-a-point higher at 1,564.39 and fluctuated between 1,555.70 and 1,567.35 throughout the trading session.
The overall market breadth was positive with advancers beating decliners 569 to 389, while 404 counters were unchanged, 905 untraded, and 31 others suspended.
Total turnover declined to 3.37 billion units worth RM1.91 billion versus 4.15 billion units valued at RM2.84 billion yesterday.
Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd vice-president of equity research Thong Pak Leng said the FBM KLCI closed lower due to profit-taking mainly on banking stocks.
"Nonetheless, market breadth was positive with 569 gainers over 389 losers. Meanwhile, key regional markets trended mostly higher following overnight gains on Wall Street and downbeat inflation data from China.
"The country's consumer price index (CPI) contracted 0.3 per cent month-on-month while growing 1.5 per cent year-on-year in December," he told Bernama today.
Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 1.92 per cent to 28,765.66, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index went up 2.79 per cent to 24,402.17, Singapore's Straits Times Index added 0.06 per cent to 3,248.47 and South Korea's Kospi rose 1.54 per cent to 2,972.48.
Back home, Thong said the outlook for the market remained positive despite some profit-taking on banking stocks given the continuous strong foreign inflow and improving market sentiment in the region.
"Hence, we expect the index to hover within the 1,560-1,570 range for the remainder of the week with immediate resistance at 1,570 and support at 1,530," he added.
Among heavyweights, Maybank shed 9.0 sen to RM8.41, CIMB fell 6.0 sen to RM5.56, IHH Healthcare was flat at RM6.65, while Public Bank added 2.0 sen to RM4.25, Petronas Chemicals climbed 10 sen to RM9.00 and Press Metal gained 7.0 sen to RM6.09.
Of the actives, SMTrack, Trive Property and Sapura Energy were flat at 30 sen, 11.5 sen and 5.0 sen respectively, while MQ Technology slipped 3.0 sen to 8.5 sen.