Investors offloaded shares in early trade on the local bourse as Malaysia is faced with a hung Parliament situation at the conclusion of the 15th General Election (GE15) over the weekend.
The market bellwether was opened 14.77 points lower at 1,434.55.
The expected downtrend saw decliners lead gainers on the broader market 470 to 74, while 163 counters were unchanged, 1,625 untraded, and 48 others suspended.
Turnover stood at 521.08 million units worth RM277.3 million.
Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd said investors are likely to remain cautious while awaiting the final outcome of the negotiations among various political parties later in the afternoon.
“The market sentiment may remain tepid and trade negatively before the submission of Prime Minister candidate names to Istana Negara at 2 pm today,” it said in a note today.
Sectors with solid fundamentals and defensive in nature, such as utilities, telecommunications, renewable energy and consumer are likely to be in focus.
The GE15 held on Saturday resulted in a hung parliament where no single coalition having enough seats for a simple majority (112 needed).
While Pakatan Harapan has the most seats (82), there were news reports on the possibility of a Perikatan Nasional-Barisan Nasional-Gabungan Parti Sawarak-Gabungan Rakyat Sabah alliance (131 seats).
Hong Leong Investment Bank said as a hung parliament election outcome was unprecedented, a knee-jerk selloff on the local bourse is likely.
“We lower our end-2022 KLCI target to 1,470 from 1,540,” it said in a research note.
Meanwhile, Bursa Malaysia heavyweights Maybank and Public Bank eased three sen each to RM8.53 and RM4.28 respectively, and Tenaga lost 11 sen to RM8.27. Petronas Chemicals and IHH Healthcare fell seven sen each to RM8.55 and RM5.90 respectively.
Among the actives, Advance Synergy trimmed one sen to 11.5 sen, Dagang Nexchange rose four sen to 54.5 sen, Eden bagged five sen to 22 sen and Genting erased 20 sen to RM2.51.
On the index board, the FBM Emas Shariah Index shrank 134.02 points to 10,264.75, the FBM Emas Index gave up 120.52 points for 10,152.72 and the FBM ACE decreased 52.55 points to 4,862.37. The FBMT 100 Index contracted 114.02 points to 9,0896.78 and the FBM 70 declined 103.14 points to 12,056.36.
Sector-wise, the Energy Index was 21.95 points lower at 701.38, the Financial Services Index weakened 58.49 points to 16,117.31 and the Industrial Products and Services Index shed 2.8 points to 175.8. The Plantation Index slid 30.69 points to 6,849.54.