Bursa ends lower on lack of fresh catalysts 

THE FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) ended lower for a third consecutive day today on lack of fresh catalysts as investors remain cautious amid the jittery performance of regional and global equity markets, a dealer said. 

At 5pm, the benchmark FBM KLCI fell 6.11 points or 0.42% to 1,464.64 compared to yesterday’s close of 1,470.75. 

The key index opened 0.55 points higher at 1,471.30 and hit a low of 1,463.75 during the mid-morning session. 

The market breadth was negative as losers thumped gainers 522 to 365, while 426 counters were unchanged, 861 untraded and 22 others suspended.

Turnover declined to 3.57 billion units worth RM2.19 billion against yesterday’s 3.94 billion units worth RM2.51 billion. 

Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd equity research VP Thong Pak Leng said the key regional indices ended mixed as investors assessed further risks of more rate hikes to come after a number of Federal Reserve (Fed) speakers reiterated that the central bank is yet to be finished with its hiking cycle.

Back home, the FBM KLCI had broken the 1,470 support as investor sentiment towards local equities turned negative, he said. 

“Having said that, we reckon the sell-down as an opportunity for investors to accumulate stocks at lower levels. 

“We remain positive on local equities as the consensus remain confident that blue chips heavyweights will perform strongly in the current corporate earnings season,” he told Bernama

Additionally, the reopening of China’s economy and border would certainly inject some excitement into the regional economy including Malaysia. 

Hence, Thong expects the FBM KLCI to stage a rebound anytime soon and anticipates the benchmark index to move within the 1,465 to 1,480 range towards the weekend.

Meanwhile, Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd senior analyst Kenneth Leong said the FBM KLCI took cue from the weakness on Wall Street overnight as the key index registered its third consecutive session of decline with oil and gas heavyweights under performing today. 

“The downbeat performance was also impacted by the World Bank Economic Monitor Report which stated that Malaysia’s economic growth may slow to 4% in 2023.

“Moving forward, we think that a recovery is on the cards with investors keeping a close watch over the release of the fourth quarter of 2022 GDP data tomorrow,” he said. 

Bursa Malaysia heavyweights Malayan Banking Bhd fell two sen to RM8.62, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd shed one sen to RM8.24, and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd slipped three sen to RM5.37, while Public Bank Bhd added one sen to RM4.13 and Tenaga Nasional Bhd gained two sen to RM9.53. 

As for the actives, both Sapura Energy Bhd and SMTrack Bhd eased half-a-sen to 4.5 sen respectively, Zen Tech International Bhd trimmed one sen to five sen, Velesto Energy Bhd gave up 1.5 sen to 22 sen, and MyEG Services Sdn Bhd was flat at 71.5 sen. 

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index shaved off 44.59 points to 10,695.00, the FBM T100 Index fell 46.68 points to 10,359.52, the FBM Emas Shariah Index went down 52.17 points to 11,046.52, and the FBM 70 Index dwindled 76.20 points to 13,612.93.

However, the FBM ACE Index was 22.63 points higher at 5,812.47. 

Sector-wise, the Plantation Index slid 21.53 points to 6,878.79, the Energy Index lost 8.94 points to 884.88 and the Financial Services Index decreased 39.35 points to 15,915.21, while the Industrial Products and Services Index inched up 0.35 of-a-point to 190.33. 

The Main Market volume shrank to 2.12 billion shares worth RM1.76 billion compared to yesterday’s 2.72 billion shares worth RM2.09 billion.

Warrants turnover improved to 342.21 million units worth RM51.05 million from 266.72 million units worth RM36.69 million yesterday. 

The ACE Market volume rose to 1.11 billion shares worth RM380.62 million from 954.29 million shares worth RM383.48 million previously.

Consumer products and services counters accounted for 229.65 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (555.39 million); construction (63.1 million); technology (432.63 million); SPAC (nil), financial services (74.31 million); property (163.48 million); plantation (35.15 million); REITs (12.96 million), closed/fund (12,500); energy (413.73 million); healthcare (69.88 million); telecommunications and media (25.54 million); transportation and logistics (33.15 million) and utilities (13.22 million). — Bernama / pic by TMR