KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 (Bernama) -- Bursa Malaysia closed sharply lower today amid heavy selling activities particularly in telecommunication, utilities and technology stocks, said an analyst. 

At 5 pm, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) dipped 22.03 points or 1.40 per cent to finish at 1,561.74 from 1,583.77 at Thursday’s close.

The benchmark index opened at the day's high of 1,585.70 and fell to the intra-day low of 1,560.72 towards the end of the trading day. 

On the broader market, losers thumped gainers 630 to 292, with 332 counters unchanged, 755 untraded and 70 others suspended.

Volume rose to 2.60 billion shares worth RM2.35 billion from 2.13 billion shares worth RM1.44 billion on Thursday  

Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd head of research Pong Teng Siew said month-end portfolio rebalancing by foreign funds would drive significant selling activities in the market.  

“It is very likely that the foreign selling seen today that pulled the market down was related to the month-end portfolio rebalancing. Quite typically, the foreign funds have undertaken this at end of each trading month (but) I do not not expect it will continue next week,” he told Bernama. 

TNB led the top losers among the heavyweights, falling 56 sen to RM13.16 after the Inland Revenue Board slapped the utility giant with an additional tax bill of RM3.98 billion. 

As for the other heavyweights, Maybank added one sen to RM8.53, Public Bank fell 12 sen to RM19.62, Petronas Chemicals declined four sen to RM7.06, CIMB shed five sen to RM5.18, IHH Healthcare eased one sen to RM5.37 and Hong Leong Bank trimmed 38 sen to RM16.90.  

Telecommunication stock Maxis gave up 17 sen to RM5.18, Axiata shrugged off 13 sen to RM4.13 and Digi decreased eight sen to RM4.48. 

Of the actives, Velesto and DGB Asia edged up half-a-sen each to 38.5 sen and 17 sen, respectively, Zecon advanced 20.5 sen to 54.5 sen, Solarvest increased 1.5 sen to 77 sen, Sapura Energy was flat at 27.5 sen and KNM inched down half-a-sen 36 sen.    

Pentamaster slid 21 sen to RM4.48 after the semiconductor firm was excluded from the Securities Commission's Shariah-compliant list.