Bursa Malaysia easier in early trade on profit-taking

KUALA LUMPUR – Bursa Malaysia opened easier today as profit-taking emerged amidst weak market sentiment following the downbeat Wall Street overnight. 

At 9.05am, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) eased 2.58 points to 1,459.45 from 1,462.03 at yesterday’s close.

The key index opened 1.67 points lower at 1,460.36.

On the broader market, losers led gainers 131 to 100, while 214 counters were unchanged, 1,842 untraded and 12 others suspended.

Turnover stood at 134.67 million units worth RM55.44 million.

Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd equity research vice-president Thong Pak Leng said Wall Street ended on a weak note as traders await the United States consumer price index data for July which will be out later today, while Moody’s rating downgrade of the country’s banking sector also affected the stock market.

Back home, he said the FBM KLCI closed broadly higher yesterday as buying from foreign funds continued to push the index to around a five-month high.

“The recent impressive performance may be a sign that foreign funds are gravitating back to ASEAN markets which have been trading at a discount over the past years.

“Judging from the buying pattern, we reckon the index may experience more upside, hence, we expect the index to hover within the 1,460-,470 range today,” he told Bernama.

Meanwhile, Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd expects the buying momentum on Bursa to remain stable, supported by the return of foreign funds.

The lower liners, however, might tread cautiously as the country enters the quarterly reporting season, it said.

“Investors will be keeping a close watch on Malaysia’s unemployment rate as well as the US inflation rate today; the latter may provide additional clues over the Federal Reserve’s interest rate direction,” it said in a note.

Among the heavyweights, Maybank and CIMB shed three sen each to RM8.97 and RM5.62, respectively, while Public Bank and Tenaga slipped two sen each to RM4.15 and RM9.62, respectively.

IHH Healthcare added one sen to RM5.95, while Petronas Chemicals and CelcomDigi were flat at RM6.85 and RM4.44, respectively.

Of the actives, Classita inched up half-a-sen to 10.5 sen and Bumi Armada rose two sen to 52.5 sen, while Handal and Tanco slipped half-a-sen each to 26 sen and 54.5 sen, respectively, and Advance Synergy was flat at 17.5 sen.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index was 14.32 points lower at 10,705.38, the FBMT 100 Index declined 14.75 points to 10,705.38, the FBM Emas Shariah Index shaved off 1.42 points to 10,942.37, the FBM 70 Index shed 4.38 points to 13,993.88, and the FBM ACE Index eased 2.68 points to 5,313.08.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index gave up 45.84 points for 16,311.35 and the Industrial Products and Services Index slid 0.01 of-a-point to 167.08, while the Energy Index garnered 6.3 points to 831.99, and the Plantation Index inched up 0.96 of-a-point to 7,170.8.BERNAMA / pic TMR FILE