Thirty-six stocks fell and 35 rose on the 100-member gauge.
In the market, 288 million shares changed hands, about half the three-month daily average of 571 million shares. December index futures climbed 0.8 per cent to 856.50.
Malayan Banking Bhd, or Maybank, Malaysia’s largest bank, slid 15 sen, or 2.9 per cent, to RM5.10, the most since December 9.
Bumiputra-Commerce Holdings Bhd lost 15 sen, or 2.5 per cent, to RM5.85.
Investors should sell banks such as Maybank, which may be hurt by higher credit costs, Citigroup Inc said in a report today.
Profits at Malaysia’s banks may fall 8.3 per cent in 2009, Citigroup said. The Kuala Lumpur Finance Index slid 1.2 per cent, the most in two weeks.
Kulim Malaysia Bhd climbed 4 sen, or 0.9 per cent, to RM4.64. Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd advanced 15 sen, or 1.8 per cent, to RM8.60.
Palm oil prices have “hit rock bottom” and demand for biodiesel may boost prices, OSK Research Sdn. said in a report today.
Kumpulan Perangsang Selangor Bhd (KUPS MK), the Selangor state government’s investment arm, rose 12 sen, or 9 per cent, to RM1.45, the second-largest gainer on the Composite Index, on speculation it will soon complete the purchase of a water unit.
Kumpulan agreed in September to buy 15 per cent of Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn., a water services company, as part of a government plan to consolidate state water assets.
Unless the state completes the restructuring by March, the government may have to increase water rates in Selangor, the New Straits Times said December 13.
Puncak Niaga Holdings Bhd, owner of 70 per cent of Syarikat Bekalan, rose 8 sen, or 3.3 per cent, to RM2.48.
UEM Land Bhd, the main developer of Bandar Nusajaya in southern Johor state, rose 1.5 sen, or 2.8 per cent, to 55.5 sen.
Merlin Entertainments Group Ltd., the operator of tourist attractions owned by Blackstone Group LP, will build a RM750 million (US$209 million) Legoland theme-park in Medini, an urban development in Nusajaya. - Bloomberg