Bursa Malaysia ends marginally lower, tracking regional peers

BURSA Malaysia pared most of its earlier losses to end marginally lower Monday, tracking the downbeat performance in regional bourses as market sentiment turned cautious ahead of China’s rate decision and the United States (US) Federal Reserve (Fed) chair Jerome Powell’s upcoming testimony.

At 5 pm, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) eased 1.28 points to 1,387.33 from 1,388.61 at the close last Friday.

The key index opened 4.72 points lower at 1,383.89 this morning and moved between 1,379.83 and 1,390.50 throughout the trading session.

On the broader market, decliners outpaced gainers 452 to 371, while 426 counters were unchanged, 1,044 untraded and 25 others suspended.

Turnover decreased to 2.58 billion units worth RM1.47 billion versus 3.54 billion units worth RM3.25 billion last Friday.

 A dealer said the local bourse opened broadly lower, however, buying interest in plantation and financial services counters helped to pare earlier losses.

Asian stock markets were also under pressure, taking the cue from Wall Street losses last Friday and as Chinese stimulus hopes fade after the United States and Chinese Foreign Ministers met and agreed to cooperate, he said.

Meanwhile, SPI Asset Management managing partner, Stephen Innes noted that as Wall Street is closed for the United States’ (US) Juneteenth National Independence Day on Monday, the trading volume in Asia and Europe will be much lower than usual.

“Still, investors will likely set the table for tomorrow’s interest rate decision in China, where it is widely expected that the key benchmark lending rate will be trimmed to jump-start a sputtering economy.

“With the wide disparity between the Fed and the market’s forward inflation expectations, we might see some cautious trading, perhaps skewing to more profit-taking following Friday’s soft sell-off in the US markets,” he told Bernama.

Region-wise, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index eased 0.64 per cent to 19,912.89, China’s SSE Composite Index shed 0.54 per cent to 3,255.81, South Korea’s Kospi slipped 0.62 per cent to 2,609.50, Singapore’s Straits Times Index lost 0.58 per cent to 3,241.17, and Japan’s Nikkei 225 went down 1.0 per cent to 33,370.42. 

Back home, heavyweights Maybank rose eight sen to RM8.65, CIMB gained 10 sen to RM5.08 and  Tenaga Nasional added two sen to RM9.22.

IHH Healthcare declined four sen to RM5.92 while Public Bank was flat at RM3.87.

Of the actives, Sarawak Consolidated bagged 1.5 sen to 42 sen, KNM and Widad edged up half-a-sen to nine sen and 42.5 sen respectively, Top Glove lost six sen to 91.5 sen, while Borneo Oil was flat at 1.5 sen. Bernama

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