Bursa remains lower at midday

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 18): Bursa Malaysia ended the morning session weaker on continued profit-taking in selected heavyweights amid cautious sentiment in regional stock markets, dealers said.

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At lunch break, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) fell 6.11 points to 1,493.27 from Tuesday’s closing of 1,499.38.

The market bellwether, which opened 4.07 points weaker at 1,495.31, moved between 1,492.34 and 1,496.63 throughout the morning session.

Market breadth was also negative with decliners outpacing gainers 409 to 294, while 379 counters were unchanged, 1,102 untraded, and 10 others suspended.

Turnover amounted to 1.53 billion units worth RM956.47 million.

Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd vice-president of equity research Thong Pak Leng said the local benchmark index may break the 1,500 level on Wednesday, as buying shifted to the banking stocks following a lacklustre performance over the past few days.

“Wall Street closed lower [on Tuesday night] as the banks came in with a mixed bag of results. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 392 points while the Nasdaq Composite fared slightly better, rising 16 points as the US 10-year yield inched higher to 3.55%.

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“Meanwhile, the report on slower economic growth in China in the last quarter [of 2022] gave investors [an] excuse to take profit. As for the local bourse, late buying in telcos and utilities stocks saw the FBM KLCI ended higher [on Tuesday] to within a touching distance of the 1,500 mark,” he told Bernama.

Among the heavyweights, Malayan Banking Bhd added three sen to RM8.81, Public Bank Bhd fell three sen to RM4.29, Tenaga Nasional Bhd dropped three sen to RM9.39, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd shed 12 sen to RM8.50, and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd trimmed four sen to RM5.73.

As for the actives, newly listed TT Vision Holdings Bhd soared RM1.01 to RM1.35, Dagang NeXchange Bhd advanced two sen to 60.5 sen, NationGate Holdings Bhd rose two sen to RM1.11, Velesto Energy Bhd was unchanged at 18.5 sen, while BSL Corp Bhd eased 2.5 sen to 16 sen, and Iris Corp Bhd shed one sen to 12 sen.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index shed 34.39 points to 10,790.68, the FBMT 100 Index gave up 34.41 points to 10,486.99, the FBM Emas Shariah Index erased 41.76 points to 11,023.5, the FBM 70 Index slid 7.48 points to 13,458.77, and the FBM ACE Index declined 31.42 points to 5,451.82.

Sector-wise, the Transportation and Logistics Index slipped 4.31 points to 919.56, the Industrial Products and Services Index eased 1.24 points to 187.4, the Financial Services Index was 25.45 points weaker at 16,520.87, and the Plantation Index dipped 38.61 points to 6,863.23.

Meanwhile the Energy Index rose 6.14 points to 826.71 and the Technology Index inched up 0.24 of-a-point to 66.88.-BERNAMA


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