KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia reversed earlier gains to close at its intraday low for the second straight day Thursday, weighed by profit-taking in selected heavyweights led by utilities and healthcare counters.
At the close, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) fell 1.58 points to 1,579.90 from Wednesday’s close of 1,581.48.
The index opened 1.87 points better at 1,583.35 and moved between 1,579.90 and 1,586.28 throughout the session.
Market breadth was however positive with gainers leading losers 520 to 436, while 478 counters were unchanged, 726 untraded, and 29 others suspended.
Turnover fell to 4.91 billion units worth RM2.74 billion from 6.00 billion units worth RM3.20 billion on Wednesday.
An analyst said market sentiment remained weak amid the unrelenting Covid-19 daily tally in the country as it recorded 5,671 new cases today.
Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd economist Adam Mohamed Rahim said investors continued to remain on the sidelines ahead of the release of US inflation data which may indicate when the Federal Reserve may begin discussing tapering its monetary stimulus.
“On a positive note, the Chinese and US commerce ministers agreed to push forward trade and investment links in their first call since the start of the US President Joe Biden’s administration, reviving prospects of better global trade,” he told Bernama.
Elsewhere in the region, Asian shares closed mostly higher with Japan’s Nikkei 225 rising 0.34% to 28,958.56, South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.26% to 3,224.64, Singapore’s Straits Times Index was 0.29% higher at 3,162.50, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.01% to 28,738.88.
Back home, the financial sector remained shaky amid the uncertainty over the economic recovery. Maybank fell two sen to RM8.18, Public Bank and HLB were flat at RM4.20 and RM18.84 respectively, CIMB eased three sen to RM4.62 and HLFG dropped 10 sen to RM18.10.
Meanwhile, the only excitement on Bursa today was brought on by IJM Plantations, which jumped 60 sen to RM3.06 after its parent IJM Corp accepted the takeover offer from palm oil giant, Kuala Lumpur Kepong (KLK). IJM Corp added five sen to RM1.95 and KLK gained four sen to RM21.80.
Of the heavyweights, PChem rose four sen to RM8.09, TNB and IHH were both flat at RM9.93 and RM5.39 respectively, while Top Glove erased four sen to RM4.80.
Among the actives, XOX shed half-a-sen to 4.5 sen, Managepay eased 2.5 sen to 24 sen, and Cuscapi dipped 1.5 sen to 26 sen.
Top gainers included Transocean which bagged 64 sen to RM4.24 and Kobay Technology which rose 54 sen to RM2.37.
On the index board, the FBM Emas Index decreased 1.49 points to 11,525.12, the FBMT 100 Index erased 4.12 points to 11,210.46, and the FBM ACE trimmed 13.70 points to 7,654.11.
The FBM Emas Shariah Index increased slightly by 0.12 of-a-point to 12,668.99 and the FBM 70 strengthened 21.99 points to 14,925.26.
Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index lost 24.20 points to 15,271.31, while the Industrial Products and Services Index inched up 0.35 of-a-point to 192.64, and the Plantation Index rose 12.18 points to 6,763.40.
Main Market volume fell to 2.85 billion shares worth RM2.21 billion from 3.37 billion shares worth RM2.59 billion recorded at Wednesday’s close.
Warrants turnover slipped to 231.20 million units valued at RM35.05 million from 237.12 million units valued at RM27.64 million yesterday.
Volume on the ACE Market shrank to 1.83 billion shares worth RM490.18 million versus 2.39 billion shares worth RM578.96 million previously.
Consumer products and services accounted for 457.71 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (866.11 million), construction (161.23 million), technology (418.48 million), SPAC (nil), financial services (57.60 million), property (308.36 million), plantation (446.84 million), REITs (7.42 million), closed/fund (nil), energy (299.88 million), healthcare (65.00 million), telecommunications and media (52.86 million), transportation and logistics (97.61 million), and utilities (14.63 million). — Bernama