Bursa Malaysia turns mixed at lunch break

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20 ― Bursa Malaysia turned mixed at midday break as mild profit-taking in selected heavyweights cancelled some of the earlier gains amid cautious sentiment on regional bourses, dealers said.

At lunch break, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) eased 0.42 of-a-point to 1,495.80 from yesterday’s closing of 1,496.22.

The market bellwether, which opened 0.66 point better at 1,496.88, moved between 1,495.80 and 1,498.92 throughout the morning session.

Market breadth however remained positive with advancers outpacing decliners 358 to 302, while 389 counters were unchanged, 1,143 untraded and 10 others suspended.

Turnover amounted to 1.33 billion units worth RM758.82 million.

In a note, Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd expected trading activities to stay muted ahead of the long break and the index to trend within the 1,490-1,500 range again today.

“As expected, Bank Negara Malaysia maintained the overnight policy rate (OPR) at 2.75 per cent hence signalling more funds may start to look at the stock market. If this happens, we reckon the banks, planters and telcos to be on the buy list,” it said.

Last night, it said Wall Street closed lower as sentiment remained cautious that the US Federal Reserve will continue to raise rates amid recent job data showing that the labour force was still resilient despite a slowing economy.

“The DJI Average lost 252 points while Nasdaq ended 105 points lower as the US 10-year yield edged slightly higher at 3.4 per cent. In Hong Kong, profit-taking activities dominated trading ahead of the Lunar New Year break and recent steep gains by Hong Kong equities,” it said.

Among the heavyweights, Maybank and Public Bank were flat at RM8.80 and RM4.29 respectively, Petronas Chemicals slipped 2.0 sen to RM8.48, Tenaga Nasional fell 6.0 sen to RM9.44 while CIMB rose 6.0 sen to RM5.75.

As for the actives, Velesto Energy eased half-a-sen to 20 sen, TA Win and Progressive Impact earned half-a-sen each to 6.5 sen and 26.5 sen respectively, while Reach energy was flat at 6.0 sen.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index rose 4.55 points to 10,817.25, the FBMT 100 Index climbed 4.38 points to 10,508.65, the FBM Emas Shariah Index inched down 2.92 points to 11,064.0, the FBM 70 Index increased 37.44 points to 13,503.42, while the FBM ACE Index gained 57.78 points to 5,506.78.

Sector-wise, the Transportation and Logistics Index earned 0.38 of-a-point to 923.19, the Industrial Products and Services Index eased 0.10 of-a-point to 187.74, the Financial Services Index was 15.37 points better at 16,497.38, and the Plantation Index improved 29.85 points to 6,855.43.

Meanwhile the Energy Index rose 3.51 points to 843.48 and the Technology Index added 0.36 of-a-point to 67.38. ― Bernama


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