Bursa Malaysia opens slightly higher but retreats thereafter

BURSA Malaysia opened marginally higher on Thursday but retreated within minutes, taking its cue from the weaker Wall Street performance overnight amidst persistent worries over the United States (US) interest rate hikes, a dealer. 

At 9.15 am, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) eased by 1.81 points to 1,468.94 from Wednesday’s close of 1,470.75. 

The key index opened 0.55 points higher at 1,471.30.

Market breadth was negative with losers surpassing gainers 228 to 133, while 274 counters were unchanged, 1,539 untraded and 22 others suspended.

Turnover amounted to 401.41 million units worth RM154.90 million.

In a research note, Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd said the local bourse continued to see net selling activities from foreign investors, with a five-day cumulative net selling of RM407.0 million.

“While bargain hunting activities may emerge following a two-day selldown, the overall market undertone will remain cautious following Wall Street’s negative performance overnight.

“As for commodities, the crude oil price stayed above US$83 per barrel and the crude palm oil price hovered closer to RM4,000 per tonne, thus we still expect the oil and gas sector to stay firm amid the elevated crude oil price,” it said. 

In the meantime, the brokerage firm said volatility may continue within the technology sector as the Nasdaq fell below the critical 12,000 level overnight. 

It added that investors may focus on defensive sectors such as real estate investment trusts and utilities to withstand the near-term volatility.

Meanwhile, Bursa heavyweights Maybank rose one sen to RM8.65, CIMB shed four sen to RM5.36 and TNB eased one sen to RM9.50, while both Public Bank and Petronas Chemicals were flat at RM4.12 and RM8.25, respectively. 

As for the actives, MY E.G. Services added 1.5 sen to 73 sen and MLABS Systems edged up half-a-sen to 2.5 sen, while ATA IMS reduced 1.5 sen to 34 sen, Iris Corporation slid one sen to 13.5 sen and Hong Seng Consolidated was flat at 20 sen. 

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index was down by 16.09 points to 10,723.50, the FBMT 100 Index weakened 15.62 points to 10,390.58, the FBM Emas Shariah Index slipped 10.64 points to 11,088.05, the FBM 70 Index shed 32.55 points to 13,656.58 and the FBM ACE Index trimmed 7.42 points to 5,782.42.  

Sector-wise, the Industrial Products and Services Index eased 0.10 of-a-point to 189.88, the Energy Index narrowed 5.90 points to 887.92 and the Financial Services Index declined 24.33 points to 15,930.23. 

However, the Plantation Index garnered 3.14 points to 6,903.46. — Bernama