Bursa remains lower at midday amid weak regional sentiment

TheEdge Fri, Mar 10, 2023 01:12pm - 3 months View Original

KUALA LUMPUR (March 10): Bursa Malaysia remained in the negative zone at midday on Friday (March 10) on continuous selling pressure amid the weak sentiment on regional bourses.

The market was also awaiting the US non-farm payroll (NFP) data to be released later in the day. The NFP numbers could determine the direction of US interest rates.

At lunch break, the benchmark FBM KLCI had slipped by 12.14 points to 1,437.39, from Thursday's closing at 1,449.53.

The key index opened 3.73 points lower at 1,445.80.

Market breadth was negative, with decliners trouncing gainers 651 to 168, while 329 counters were unchanged, 1,097 untraded, and 33 others suspended.

Turnover amounted to 1.68 billion units worth RM1.13 billion.

Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd vice-president of equity research Thong Pak Leng said Wall Street closed sharply lower as sentiment turned negative on concerns of high interest rates, and the US Federal Reserve's hawkish stance is expected to remain for a longer period.

“Nonetheless, we suspect overall sentiment to still be determined by the Federal Open Market Committee meeting on March 21-22,” he told Bernama.

 Back home, the KLCI dipped just below the 1,450-point mark despite Bank Negara Malaysia's decision to maintain the overnight policy rate, which was good news for the equity market.

He said trading on the local bourse should remain lacklustre, and expects the index to trend in the 1,450-1,460 range, with some accumulation of construction and telco related stocks on Friday.

Meanwhile, heavyweights Public Bank Bhd declined four sen to RM4.09, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd trimmed six sen to RM5.44, Tenaga Nasional Bhd gave up seven sen to RM9.38, Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) inched up two sen to RM8.73, and Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd added one sen to RM7.01.

Among the actives, newly listed Cape EMS Bhd rose 52 sen to RM1.42, Hong Seng Consolidated Bhd was half a sen firmer at 15 sen, VinVest Capital Holdings Bhd at 22.5 sen and Tanco Holdings Bhd at 47.5 sen were both flat, and Jade Marvel Group Bhd eased half a sen to 30.5 sen.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index decreased by 90.64 points to 10,481.86, the FBM 70 Index fell 106.33 points to 13,347.34, the FBMT 100 Index dwindled by 84.70 points to 10,164.55, the FBM Emas Shariah Index lost 103.38 points to 10,706.80, and the FBM ACE Index dipped 91.09 points to 5,355.10.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index fell 103.03 points to 16010.97, the Energy Index shed 20.35 points to 862.74, the Plantation Index declined 60.94 points to 6,768.99, and the Industrial Products and Services Index eased 1.95 points to 173.88.

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