Bursa ends morning session flat ahead of US jobs data

KUALA LUMPUR • Bursa Malaysia ended the morning session marginally easier, tracking the performance of regional peers amid the weak sentiment surrounding global equities, dealers said. 

At 12.30pm, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) shaved 0.4 of a point to 1,491.55 from yesterday’s close of 1,491.95. 

The barometer index opened 1.17 points better at 1,493.12, subsequently moving between 1,489.23 and 1,498.61 throughout the morning session. 

On the broader market, decliners outpaced gainers 419 to 237, while 406 counters were unchanged, 1,227 untraded, and 32 others suspended.

Turnover stood at 1.20 billion units worth RM778.38 million.

ActivTrades trader Anderson Alves said Asian equities were choppy today after a mixed trading session on Wall Street as traders eye the US jobs data, due later in the session, for further direction in equity markets.

“If the report is stronger than expected, the US dollar could keep breaking its 20-year high on the back of safe haven trade, and US yields could rise due to US Federal Reserve repricing; the price action could put pressure on global risk assets due to rate differentials.

“It is worth noting that despite recent derisking in equities, the (volatility) index — VIX — is edging higher but with no clear signal of stress. Having said that, if the US jobs report is soft, some cross-asset hedging unwinding activity is likely to be seen, triggering risk-on price action,” he shared.

Investors are also keeping a close eye on volatility in the energy sector, he noted.

“Oil extended its sell-off amid defensive demand, new lockdowns in China, and a stronger dollar. On the macro front, recent data showed global growth is clearly slowing and the risk of an outright recession is rising as high inflation prints are cutting investment and consumer spending,” Alves added.

Regionally, Japan’s Nikkei 225 eased 0.01% to 27,659.09, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slipped 0.62% to 19,475.78, Singapore’s Straits Times Index shed 0.41% to 3,210.79 while South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.12% to 2,418.62.

Bursa heavyweights Malayan Banking Bhd, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, and IHH Healthcare Bhd added two sen each to RM8.93, RM5.50 and RM6.20 respectively,   Public Bank Bhd improved one sen to RM4.67 while Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd slid three sen to RM8.75. 

Of the actives, Dagang NeXchange Bhd trimmed one sen to 81 sen, Jade Marvel Group Bhd shed five sen to 26 sen, DGB Asia Bhd, and South Malaysia Industries Bhd edged up half a sen each to two sen and 51.5 sen respectively, while ACE Market debutant SNS Network Technology Bhd was flat at 25 sen.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index lost 6.13 points to 10,555.10, the FBM T100 Index slid 4.56 points to 10,309.98, the FBM 70 shrank 12.73 points to 12,551.87, the FBM ACE slipped 38.44 points to 4,786.60 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index declined 19.32 points to 10,595.29. 

Sector-wise, the Plantation Index was 53.47 points lower at 6,942.92, the Industrial Products and Services Index slid 1.02 points to 179.56 and the Energy Index shed 11.49 points to 699.84, while the Financial Services Index rose 38.64 points to 16,782.01. — Bernama/pic by TMR