Bursa Malaysia opens lower

KUALA LUMPUR – Bursa Malaysia opened lower today, tracking the weaker Wall Street performance overnight amid fears over the ongoing banking crisis in the United States.

At 9.07 am, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) eased 3.20 points to 1,422.79 from Wednesday’s close of 1,425.99.

The benchmark index opened 2.38 points lower at 1,423.61.

The market breadth was negative with decliners outnumbering gainers 161 to 119, while 258 counters were unchanged, 1,695 untraded, and 11 others suspended.

Turnover stood at 190.56 million units worth RM64.17 million.

The market was closed yesterday in conjunction with Wesak Day.

Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd equity research vice-president Thong Pak Leng said Wall Street finished lower for the fourth consecutive day on renewed banking fears.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 0.86 per cent (286 points) while Nasdaq shed 0.49 per cent (58.93 points).

Over in Hong Kong, stocks ended higher as investors cheered the prospect of an imminent pause in interest-rate hikes.

On the domestic front, Thong said the FBM KLCI closed in negative territory as Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) unexpectedly raised the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) by 25 basis points to three per cent.

“We believe the local market will see some headwinds, particularly the banking and property stocks, following BNM’s monetary tightening measure although bargain-hunting activities may emerge as well.

“Hence, we anticipate the benchmark index to trend sideways within the range of 1,420-1,430 points today,” Thong told Bernama.

Of the heavyweight counters, Maybank was down two sen to RM8.70, Public Bank and CIMB were flat at RM3.91 and RM5.07 respectively, Petronas Chemicals slid six sen to RM7.18, CelcomDigi eased three sen to RM4.41, and Tenaga rose one sen to RM8.99.

Among the actives, KNM and Bahvest added one sen each to six sen and 22.5 sen respectively, and Revenue Group ticked up two sen to RM3.70, while Jade Marvel and MYEG gained half-a-sen to 28.5 sen and 82.5 sen respectively.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index trimmed 22.44 points to 10,425.68 the FBMT 100 Index slipped 22.80 points to 10,117.32, and the FBM Emas Shariah Index reduced 27.53 points to 10,758.95.

The FBM ACE Index was 6.16 points lower at 5,207.14 and the FBM 70 index erased 30.90 points to 13,524.21.

Sector-wise, the Industrial Products and Services Index edged down 0.75 point to 170.70, the Financial Services Index dropped 6.41 points to 15,582.38, the Energy Index eased 3.98 points to 829.50, and the Plantation Index fell 39.47 points to 6,787.14. – Bernama / pic TMR File