KUALA LUMPUR: It’s a sea of red on the local bourse, with losers outpacing gainers, mirroring the performance on key Asian markets.
The benchmark FBM KLCI tumbled 19.18 points or 1.36% to 1,386.82. It hit an intraday low of 1,383.25 and a high of 1,400.58.
KLCI-component stocks were overwhelmingly in the negative, with 26 decliners and four gainers.
In the wider market, losers outnumbered gainers 786 to 197, with 2.35 billion shares worth RM1.86bil changing hands.
Dealers said the sell-off today was a knee-jerk reaction after the announcement on the dissolution of Parliament yesterday.
On Bursa Malaysia, Nestle shed RM1.40 to RM129.50, Malaysian Pacific Industries eased RM1.28 to RM27.10, Kuala Lumpur Kepong fell 60 sen to RM19.80 and Dutch Lady lost 60 sen to RM30.40.
Hextar Technologies jumped 34 sen to RM5.64, Rapid gained 28 sen to RM14.18, Batu Kawan rose 20 sen to RM20.60 and PETRONAS Dagangan climbed 18 sen to RM20.40.,
Meanwhile, Reuters reported that the ringgit hit a fresh 24-year low after the country's parliament got dissolved.
The ringgit fell as much as 0.5% to trade at 4.670 to the dollar, its lowest since January 1998.
The local currency was down 0.44% against the euro at 4.5335. It declined 0.25% against the pound sterling at 5.1527 and fell 0.34% against the Singapore dollar at 3.2460.
US West Texas Intermediate crude fell US$1.64 to US$89.49 and Brent lost US$1.56 to US$94.63 per barrel.
On the external front, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was lower by 2.04%.
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index ended down 2.64%, South Korea's Kospi index fell 1.83% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index shed 2.23%.
China’s CSI300 index rose 0.18% while the Shanghai Composite added 0.19%.