At 5pm, the KLCI fell 4.88 points to 876.75 after seeing an intraday high of 884.73. It had opened 1.44 points higher at 883.07 this morning.
“The key index opened firmer and managed to gain grounds until noon due to window dressing activities but then investors quickly locked in profits in the afternoon session to end the last day of 2008 in a negative territory,” one of the dealers said.
The Plantation Index advanced 24.89 points to 4,167.58, the Industrial Index climbed 76.09 points to 2,086.70 but the Finance Index went down 21.94 points to 6,853.75.
The FBMEmas lost 24.34 points to 5,726.46 and the FBM30 declined 40.51 points to 5,637.73.
The FBMMesdaq, however climbed 21.59 points to 3,333.59 and the FBM2BRD advanced 33.11 points to 4,007.31.
Losers outnumbered gainers by 273 to 240, while 235 counters were unchanged, 506 untraded and 28 others suspended.
Volume was moderate with 311.25 million shares worth RM523.04 million transacted compared with Tuesday’s 261.44 million valued at RM402.14 million.
A dealer said the local market was generally quiet as most investors stayed on the sidelines amid the year-end holiday.
However, some plantation-related stocks hogged the limelight on the back of firmer prices for commodities, he said.
Crude palm oil price reached a 10-week high of RM1,671 per tonne yesterday after languishing around RM1,400 two months ago.
Boustead Holdings rose 22 sen to close the year at RM3.42 while Ta Ann Holdings and Tanjong added 20 sen each to RM3.60 and RM13.30 respectively.
Among actives, Damansara Realty and Progressive Impact perked half sen each to 17.5 sen and 47 sen respectively while Eastern and Oriental added three sen to 43 sen, KNM Group was unchanged at 40.5 sen and Affin Holdings firmed 17 sen to RM1.52.
Of heavyweights, Maybank lost 20 sen to RM5.10, Tenaga Nasional went down five sen to RM6.25 and Nestle declined 25 sen to RM27.00.
The Main Board volume rose to 269.38 million shares worth RM511.56 million compared with 206.81 million shares worth RM389.39 million yesterday.
Turnover on the Second Board fell slightly to 23.05 million shares worth RM6.55 million versus 24.22 million shares worth RM7.55 million previously.
Volume on the Mesdaq market declined to 9.3 million shares worth RM3.7 million from 14.8 million shares worth RM3.7 million.
Warrants went down to 8.13 million shares worth RM704,689 from 14.92 million shares worth RM1.32 million previously. - Bernama