Bursa Malaysia lower in early trade on cautious sentiment

The local market tone might stay tepid at least for the near term as the key focus have shifted towards the outcome of GE15

BURSA Malaysia opened lower today following a decline on Wall Street overnight, as market sentiment remained cautious ahead of the 15th General Election (GE15) on Saturday.

At 9.05am, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI edged down 1.86 points to 1,446.52 from yesterday’s close of 1,448.38.

The market bellwether opened 1.82 points easier at 1,446.56.

On the broader market, decliners led gainers 133 to 84, while 178 counters were unchanged, 1,937 untraded and 47 others suspended.

Turnover stood at 118.29 million units worth RM108.44 million.

Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd said the local market tone might stay tepid at least for the near term with the softer market performance on Wall Street. 

“The key focus is shifted towards the outcome of GE15, where it is still uncertain which party is having a lead at this juncture. 

“Investors may favour defensive stocks in the consumer, telecommunications and utilities sectors amid an environment of increased market volatility,” it added. 

Meanwhile, buying momentum in steel players following China’s 16-point plan should sustain.

It was reported that Chinese authorities have unveiled measures to rescue the struggling property sector, whereby the banking regulator and central bank issued a 16-point set of internal directives to promote the “stable and healthy development” of the industry.

Moving forward, the brokerage firm said, broad-based recovery may happen after GE15 as the economy had been improving, as shown by Malaysia’s third-quarter GDP performance.

Meanwhile, Bursa Malaysia heavyweights Malayan Banking Bhd and Public Bank Bhd gained two sen each to RM8.53 and RM4.32, respectively, and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd added one sen to RM5.36, while Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd and IHH Healthcare Bhd were flat at RM8.62 and RM5.95, respectively. 

Among the actives, Advance Synergy Bhd and AHB Holdings Bhd inched up half-a-sen each to 12.5 sen and 11.5 sen, respectively, and Perdana Petroleum Bhd advanced three sen to 12 sen. Icon Offshore Bhd and Eduspec Holdings Bhd were flat at 14 sen and two sen, respectively. 

On the index board, the FBM Emas Shariah Index weakened 24.61 points to 10,428.2, the FBM Emas Index trimmed 11.76 points to 10,283.2, the FBM ACE shrank 20.7 points to 4,976.47, the FBM T100 Index gave up 13.61 points to 10,010.25 and the FBM 70 lost 19.71 points to 12,234.34. 

Sector-wise, the Energy Index edged up 0.01 of a point to 720.11, the Financial Services Index climbed 17.39 points to 16,106.7 and the Industrial Products and Services Index inched up by 0.04 of a point to 178.81, while the Plantation Index slipped by 1.46 points to 6,900.74. — Bernama / pic TMR