Bursa opens lower on profit taking

KUALA LUMPUR (March 4): Bursa Malaysia opened lower today on profit-taking activities after yesterday’s strong performance and amid a weaker Wall Street performance overnight.

At 9.06am, the benchmark FBM KLCI had fallen 9.02 points, or 0.57%, to 1,579.43 from 1,588.45 at yesterday’s close.

The key index opened 0.44 of a point higher at 1,588.89.

On the broader market, losers led gainers 325 to 189, while 304 counters were unchanged, 1,335 untraded and nine others suspended.

Total volume stood at 433.95 million units worth RM240.11 million.

Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd said the market would be looking forward to Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) second Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting today to gauge market movements.

The brokerage said, however, economists anticipated an unchanged stance on the overnight policy rate (OPR) at 1.75% amid expectations of an economic recovery.

“We believe lower liners will continue to remain upbeat if the positive market sentiment persists. Meanwhile, the Brent oil price has seen a rebound,” it said in a research note.

Given the daily Covid-19 confirmed cases remained below 2,000 for the third straight day, the brokerage believe traders would focus on recovery-theme sectors, such as aviation, consumer products and gaming.

“Besides, traders may look out for oil and gas (O&G) and plantation counters given the rebound in commodities prices,” it added.

Another dealer said regional stocks braced for a new bout of volatility in equities and bond after a surge in US Treasury bonds, as well as ahead of China’s annual parliamentary pageant tomorrow.

Regionally, Singapore’s Straits Times Index fell 0.8% to 2,997.89 and Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index went down 1.49% to 29,117.6.

Among the heavyweights, Public Bank Bhd gained two sen to RM4.24, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd (PetChem) and IHH Healthcare Bhd were flat at RM7.74 and RM5.50 respectively, while Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) fell four sen to RM8.10, Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) shed eight sen to RM10.38, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd trimmed three sen to RM4.26 and Top Glove Corp Bhd declined 16 sen to RM4.93.

Of the actives, Nexgram Holdings Bhd edged up half a sen to five sen, Minetech Resources Bhd rose 1.5 sen to 21.5 sen and Dataprep Holdings Bhd soared 13 sen to RM1.97, while Dagang NeXchange (DNeX) was flat at 61.5 sen, Sealink International Bhd eased one sen to 19.5 sen and MyEG Services Bhd slipped nine sen to RM2.15.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index narrowed 58.58 points to 11,612.86, the FBMT 100 Index depreciated 57.90 points to 11,307.95, the FBM Emas Shariah Index was 87.15 points easier at 12,953.1, the FBM ACE discounted 97.47 points to 10,518.32 and the FBM 70 trimmed 53.52 points to 15,445.83.

Sector-wise, the Industrial Products and Services Index was 1.03 point lower at 185.9, the Plantation Index slid 11.06 points to 7,151.03 and the Financial Services Index decreased 15.68 points to 15,017.16.

Source: TheEdgeMarkets