Bursa Malaysia opens lower amid cautious trading

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 26 — Bursa Malaysia opened lower today, trading in cautious mode following the lacklustre performance on Wall Street overnight.

In the United States (US), stocks ended flat overnight as investors assessed the latest batch of corporate results and ahead of the release of critical economic data, dealers said.

At 9.07am, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) shed 2.66 points to 1,496.79 from Wednesday’s close of 1,499.45 .

The market bellwether opened 2.04 points lower at 1,497.41.

In the broader market, gainers led decliners 170 to 127, while 244 counters were unchanged, 1,689 untraded and 37 others suspended.

Turnover amounted to 160.20 million units worth RM69.25 million.

Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd said the FBM KLCI failed to build onto the positive momentum from the pre-Chinese New Year moves as the key index lost ground on quick profit-taking activities.

“Still, we are banking on the recovery theme from China which will boost the FBM KLCI above the 1,500 level, while the lower liners may continue to capitalise on the improved trading environment and enjoy further rotational play.

“Globally, the focus will shift to the preliminary reading of the US fourth quarter 2022 Gross Domestic Product data tonight,” it shared.

Commodities-wise, it noted Brent crude oil edged slightly higher to stay above US$86 per barrel, but crude palm oil (CPO) price slipped below RM3,800 a tonne on further profit-taking activities.

Thus, it said, the energy sector is expected to stay in focus on the back of the firm oil prices and amid China’s recovery, while investors wait for the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) meeting on Feb 1, 2023, for market direction.

“Meanwhile, the record high automotive total industry volume registered in 2022 may lift automotive-related stocks. On the flip side, the financial services sector may undergo a consolidation following the pause in overnight policy rate hikes by Bank Negara Malaysia,” it added.

Among the heavyweights, Petronas Chemical slid three sen to RM8.47, CIMB eased one sen to RM5.77, and Tenaga Nasional fell five sen to RM9.47, while Maybank and Public Bank were flat at RM8.81 and RM4.29, respectively.

As for the actives, Niche Capital added two sen to 16.5 sen, Cypark gained 3.5 sen to 87.5 sen, Dataprep improved one sen to 27.5 sen, JHM Consolidation rose 5.5 sen to 94.5 sen, and Leform bagged 1.5 sen to 23 sen.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index lost 11.55 points to 10,857.25, the FBMT 100 Index retreated 14.73 points to 10,534.31, and the FBM Emas Shariah Index slipped 16.51 points to 11,095.45.

The FBM 70 Index shaved 1.75 points to 13,617.12 while the FBM ACE Index increased 8.45 points to 5,635.55.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index gave up 6.61 points to 16,535.41, the Industrial Products and Services Index trimmed 0.18 of-a-point to 189.67, the Energy Index eased 3.37 points to 867.06, and the Plantation Index climbed 10.28 points to 6,829.24. — Bernama