Bursa Malaysia opens lower on cautious sentiments 

BURSA Malaysia opened easier today as cautious sentiments prevailed in light of current developments in the Middle East conflict, said an analyst. 

At 9.15 am, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) declined 6.50 points to 1,544.54 from last Friday’s close of 1,551.04. 

The benchmark index opened 5.59 points lower at 1,545.45.

On the broader market, decliners led gainers 563 to 120, while 251 counters were unchanged, 1,418 untraded, and 11 others suspended.

Turnover amounted to 472.11 million units worth RM254.83 million.

Rakuten Trade equity research vice-president Thong Pak Leng said the Wall Street slumped last Friday as sentiments were dented by inflationary worries, coupled with the escalating tension in the Middle East.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 476 points while the Nasdaq declined by 276 points as the US 10-year yield slid slightly to 4.518 per cent.

“We expect the trading pattern to be lacklustre in tune with the decline on Wall Street. 

“Hence, we anticipate the index to hover within the 1,550-1,560 range today,” he told Bernama. 

Thong noted that the Middle East conflict pushed crude oil prices higher, which saw Brent crude closing above US$90 per barrel again.

Back home, the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) and Bursa Malaysia said they have increased their market monitoring and surveillance activities to ensure that the Malaysian capital market remains stable and orderly in light of the latest developments in the Middle East conflict.

They also gave assurance that market fundamentals remain strong and intermediaries are well capitalised.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the government is closely monitoring the geopolitical developments and financial markets, and will take appropriate actions to promote continued financial stability and orderly functioning of markets.

Among the heavyweights, Maybank fell four sen to RM9.61, Public Bank slid one sen to RM4.17, CIMB slipped three sen to RM6.58, Tenaga Nasional shed eight sen to RM11.62 and IHH Healthcare edged down two sen to RM6.07. 

As for the actives, Dagang NeXchange added one sen to 42.5 sen, while Harvest Miracle and Velesto Energy edged up half-a-sen each to 12.5 sen and 28 sen, respectively. 

Meanwhile, Bahvest Resources declined one sen to 59.5 sen and PUC was flat at 5.5 sen. 

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index decreased by 58.67 points to 11,639.15, the FBMT 100 Index declined by 53.30 points to 11,273.62, the FBM Emas Shariah Index fell by 53.21 points to 11,809.78, the FBM ACE Index dropped 39.60 points to 5,060.52 and the FBM 70 Index tumbled 101.05 points to 16,291.52. 

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index reduced by 89.81 points to 17,181.99, and the Plantation Index shed 16.79 points to 7,453.90. 

However, the Industrial Products and Services Index inched up 0.27 points to 184.93 and the Energy Index improved 12.31 points to 981.40. — BERNAMA / pic MEDIA MULIA