KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI dipped as it headed into midday as bank counters retraced earlier gains amid investors caution over earnings results.

At 12.30pm, the key index was down four points to 1,522.87.

Investors took profit from banks after a brief rally in morning trade. Maybank was unchanged at RM8.15, Public Bank dropped one sen to RM4.06 and Hong Leong Bank slid two sen to RM18.32. CIMB was up four sen to RM5.20.

Meanwhile, plantation counters dragged on the market as crude palm oil futures dipped amid a pullback in energy prices.

Sime Darby Plantation fell six sen to RM3.95 and IOI shed five sen to RM3.81.

Kuala Lumpur Kepong shed 42 sen to RM20.38 ahead of its corporate earnings result scheduled for release later today.

Maintaining its positive trajectory, IHH Healthcare pulled ahead by eight sen to RM6.70.

On the broader market, Ta Ann jumped 19 sen to RM3.40 on the back of positive earnings results.

Other notable gainers were MAHB rising 16 sen to RM6.43 and MSC climbing up 16 sen to RM3.23.

Top actives were MYEG up seven sen to RM1.12, Tanco unchanged at 51 sen and NWP down 1.5 sen to 34 sen.

In regional markets, equities were mixed on speculation the reappointment of Jerome Powell as chairman of the US Federal Reserve would lead to tapering of stimulus measures.

Japan’s Nikkei was up 0.1% and South Korea’s Kospi slid 0.6%. In China, the composite index added 0.4% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 1%.

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