Bursa Malaysia opens marginally higher but turns lower thereafter

BURSA Malaysia’s main index opened marginally higher today but turned lower thereafter, ahead of the release of China’s first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) later in the day, said analysts. 

At 9.05 am, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) fell by 1.59 points to 1,433.31 from Monday’s close of 1,434.90.

The barometer index opened 0.57 of a point higher at 1,435.47.

Market breadth was negative with decliners surpassing gainers 147 versus 105, while 219 counters were unchanged, 1,809 untraded and 12 others suspended.

Turnover stood at 239.90 million units worth RM80.52 million.

“We reckon that the accumulation of blue chips would persist across the board, thus expect the index to hover within the 1,430-1,440 range today,” Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd equity research vice-president Thong Pak Leng told Bernama.

He noted that Wall Street closed in positive territory overnight after a volatile session with US banks reporting strong quarterly earnings but their gains were curbed by the uptrend of long-term yields.

The price of crude palm oil declined to a two-week low at the RM3,600 per tonne mark due to possible weak exports, hence plantation stocks may be under some pressure today, he added.

Among the heavyweights, Maybank shed two sen to RM8.68, Petronas Chemicals was down by six sen to RM7.34, CIMB eased one sen to RM5.25 and Tenaga dropped four sen to RM9.14.

Public Bank and IHH Healthcare were both flat at RM3.97 and RM5.88, respectively.

As for the actives, Hong Seng was flat at 14 sen, Tanco added half-a-sen to one sen, Dataprep gained 1.5 sen to 25.5 sen and SMRT rose three sen to 67.5 sen. 

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index fell 12.68 points to 10,551.07, the FBMT 100 Index lost 12.43 points to 10,230.94 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index slipped 14.08 points to 10,910.08.

The FBM ACE Index was 16.17 points firmer at 5,385.49 and the FBM 70 index slid 21.25 points to 13,837.05.

Sector-wise, the Industrial Products and Services Index eased by 0.39 of a point to 174.77, while the Plantation Index gained 14.28 points to 6,834.28 and the Financial Services Index declined 12.74 points to 15,752.85.

The Energy Index fell 2.37 points to 875.82. — Bernama / pic TMR