KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 19): The main index at Bursa Malaysia reversed its earlier gains and drifted lower at mid-morning today, tracking lacklustre regional markets following the overnight decline at US markets.
At 10am, the FBM KLCI dipped 0.64 points to 1,575.20. The index had earlier risen to a high of 1,582.18.
Market breadth turned negative with 658 losers and 258 gainers, while 376 counters traded unchanged. Trading volume was 4.46 billion shares valued at RM1.75 billion.
The top losers included Hengyuan Refining Company Bhd, CI Holdings Bhd, Lii Hen Industries Bhd, Aeon Credit Service (M) Bhd, Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd, Hartalega Holdings Bhd and Muda Holdings Bhd.
The actively traded stocks included Dagang NeXchange Bhd, ManagePay Systems Bhd, EA Holdings Bhd, Lambo Group Bhd, ARB Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd and Scomi Group Bhd.
The gainers included Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, Tasco Bhd, Mr DIY Group (M) Bhd, Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd and MISC Bhd.
Bloomberg said Asian stocks opened with declines as investors assess how rising borrowing costs could impact the equity rally.
Treasuries retained losses, it said.
Inter-Pacific Research Sdn Bhd said profit-taking activities escalated on Bursa Malaysia as market confidence waned in tandem with the sagging sentiments on regional markets.
In its daily bulletin today, the research house said at the same time, foreign selling also picked up pace to add to the FBM KLCI’s fall yesterday.
It said conditions elsewhere were also dour with market breadth decidedly negative, despite the mixed closing of the lower liner and broader market share indices.
Amid the increased selling pressure, traded volumes picked up to its highest level in two months, it said.
“Conditions are looking frail again after the past three session’s weakness that has also reversed the earlier optimism over the Covid-19 vaccine availability.
“The market’s retreat to below the 1,600-point level has also resulted in sentiments becoming increasingly cautious and this could leave sentiments guarded again.
“Although there are no signs of a rebound as yet, we do not rule out a small market bounce to end the week on mild bargain-hunting activities on some of the beaten down sector leaders.
“As it is, we are still [of] the opinion that the economic recovery is still unfolding, [which] could provide a longer-term booster to the market.
“For now, we think the FBM KLCI could be angling to find support around the 1,560-1,570 levels, while the hurdles [are] at the 1,580 and 1,590 levels respectively,” it said.