Bursa opens higher on bargain hunting

The uncertainties on the global front and the falling commodity prices will continue to weigh on investors’ sentiment over the near term

BURSA Malaysia opened higher today on bargain hunting despite the softer sentiment surrounding the global market.

The overnight stocks on Wall Street were mixed, while the US dollar had spiked as investors sought safe-haven assets amid concerns about China’s growth and ahead of the release of the US jobs data, dealers said. 

At 9.08am, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) rose 5.89 points to 1,497.84 from yesterday’s close of 1,491.95. 

The benchmark index opened 1.17 points better at 1,493.12.

On the broader market, gainers edged past losers 173 to 110, while 186 counters were unchanged, 1,820 untraded and 32 others suspended.

Turnover stood at 175.15 million units worth RM69.57 million.

In a note, Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd said the uncertainties on the global front and the falling commodity prices will continue to weigh on investors’ sentiment over the near term.

“We foresee that bargain hunting activities may only emerge in counters with defensive nature and solid earnings,” it said.

On commodities, the brokerage noted that the crude oil price had hovered around US$92 (RM412.16) per barrel-mark, while crude palm oil was trading below RM4,000.

“As for sectors in focus, investors are expected to remain cautious regarding the technology sector as the Nasdaq remained on a downtrend.

“Meanwhile, the energy and plantation sectors may face some selling pressure amid declining commodity prices, but we are keeping our positive stance on export-oriented, consumer, banking and telecommunications sectors amid the global uncertainties,” it added.

Among the heavyweights, Malayan Banking Bhd added four sen to RM8.95, Public Bank Bhd bagged two sen to RM4.68 and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd gained three sen to RM5.51, while Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd fell eight sen to RM8.70 and IHH Healthcare Bhd was flat at RM6.18.

Of the actives, Jentayu Sustainables Bhd perked two sen to 55 sen, Dagang NeXchange Bhd improved one sen to 83 sen and Shin Yang Shipping Corp Bhd gained 3.5 sen to 63 sen, while Jade Marvel Group Bhd eased one sen to 30 sen and ACE Market’s debutant SNS Network Technology Bhd was flat at 25 sen.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index increased 39.51 points to 10,600.74, the FBM T100 Index advanced 37.13 points to 10,351.67, the FBM 70 expanded 30.69 points to 12,595.29, the FBM ACE climbed 15.29 points to 4,840.33 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index firmed 34.48 points to 10,649.09. 

Sector-wise, the Plantation Index was 2.07 points better at 6,998.46 and the Financial Services Index rose 82.92 points to 16,826.29, while the Industrial Products and Services Index eased 0.24 of-a-point to 180.34 and the Energy Index slid 0.87 of-a-point to 710.46. — Bernama / pic TMR