Several banks hit a fresh 52-week high early Wednesday but came off by midday while Petronas Dagangan and Genting Bhd weighed down the FBM KLCI amid heavy volatility.
The ringgit staged strong gains against the key currencies, The Star Online reported.
At 12.30pm, the KLCI was down 0.03 point to 1,778.44. Turnover was 2.29 billion shares valued at RM1.37bil. There were 372 gainers, 438 losers and 401 counters unchanged.
The ringgit firmed up 0.32% against the US dollar to 4.3145 from 4.3285 the previous day, it rose against the pound sterling to 5.5734 from 5.5767 and gained against the Singapore dollar to 3.0968 from 3.1028. It also increased against the euro to 4.7166 from 4.7231.
Reuters reported Asian stocks were mostly higher on Wednesday, as strong earnings and manufacturing data boosted risk appetite, while expectations that the Federal Reserve will signal a June rate increase later in the session lifted the dollar.
Ambank rose to RM5.70 but later slipped one sen to RM5.61, CIMB rose to RM5.96 and was flat at RM5.88. HLFG rose to RM17.06, up eight sen while Maybank rose to RM9.68 and was up two sen to RM9.62.
Public Bank added two sen to RM20.26 and RHB Bank edged up one sen to RM5.55.
Oil prices pulled higher after a sharp fall on Tuesday on technical selling in a market already worried about oversupply and following a rise in output from several members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec).
US light crude oil rose 33 cents to US$47.99 and Brent gained 43 cents to US$50.89.
Petronas Gas rose 24 sen to RM19.04 and nudged the KLCI up 0.78 of a point. Petronas Dagangan lost 16 sen to RM24.10 and Petronas Chemicals shed two sen to RM7.26.
Among the heavyweights, Genting Malaysia lost 10 sen to RM5.89 and Genting Bhd eased seven sen to RM9.93. Tenaga shed two sen to RM13.90.
Crude palm oil for third-month delivery fell RM17 to RM2,531 per tonne. Sime Darby was flat at RM9.33, IOI Corp shed one sen to RM4.58, KL Kepong eased two sen to RM24.62 but PPB Group rose 20 sen to RM17.10.
Other decliners were Westport, down 11 sen to RM3.84, Bursa lost 10 sen to RM10.14.
KESM shed eight sen to RM12.70 but MPI added 26 sen to RM12.66. SAM Engineering rose 25 sen to RM6.55.
Poly Glass Fibre hit limit-up, surging 30 sen to 90.5 sen with 4.89 million shares done.