Bursa Malaysia opens lower as investors remain cautious

BURSA Malaysia resumed on a low note today after the long Malaysia Day weekend, as investors remained cautious following further losses on Wall Street on Friday due to persistent concerns over the US Federal Reserve’s (Fed) rate hike, a dealer said.

At 9.15am, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) fell by 14.5 points to 1,452.81 from Thursday’s close of 1,467.31.

The benchmark index opened 7.8 points lower at 1,459.51.

On the broader market, losers outpaced gainers 347 to 102, while 256 counters were unchanged, 1,668 untraded and 17 others suspended.

Turnover stood at 250.12 million units worth RM178.96 million.

In a research note today, Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd said sentiments became fragile prior to the Malaysia Day holiday weekend last week, with all eyes on the Fed’s September meeting and Malaysia’s inflation rate data to be released this week.

Hence, the local bourse may continue to see sideways trading, along with its regional peers, it said.

On commodities, it noted that crude oil was trading above US$91 (RM413.14) per barrel, while crude palm oil is hovering below RM3,900.

“As for sectors in focus, the technology sector should remain under pressure, in line with the sentiment on Wall Street.

“Investors may look out for the banking, telecommunication and consumer sectors, as well as building materials to prepare for budget tabling in October. We also like the export-oriented and energy sectors,” it said.

Among the heavyweights, Malayan Banking Bhd and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd gained three sen each to RM8.61 and RM5.40, respectively, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd rose five sen to RM8.67, Public Bank Bhd eased one sen to RM4.46 and IHH Healthcare Bhd fell 25 sen to RM6.07.

Of the actives, Top Glove Corp Bhd shed three sen to 73.5 sen, RGB International Bhd eased half-a-sen to 11.5 sen and Supermax Corp Bhd slid two sen to 71 sen.

SNS Network Technology Bhd edged up half-a-sen to 30.5 sen, while Metronic Global Bhd was flat at two sen.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index slipped 99.56 points to 10,375.02, the FBM T100 Index fell 97.56 points to 10,117.09, the FBM Emas Shariah Index decreased 107 points to 10,471.82, the FBM 70 slipped 108.04 points to 12,619.54 and the FBM ACE was 59.33 points lower at 4,774.42.

Sector-wise, the Energy Index was 5.5 points easier at 732.12, the Plantation Index shed 3.47 points to 6,854.65, the Financial Services Index dropped 133.81 points to 16,357.67 and the Industrial Products and Services Index eased 0.94 of-a-point to 180.53. — Bernama / pic TMR