Bursa Malaysia snaps three-day losing streak despite domestic political uncertainty

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 — Bursa Malaysia snapped a three-day losing streak today despite the continuing uncertainty on the domestic political front as investors looked ahead to the US Federal Reserve’s (Fed) meeting minutes, which could offer clues on further interest rate hikes by the United States.

At 5pm, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) added 2.21 points to end the day at its intra-day high of 1,443.5 compared with 1,441.29 yesterday.

The market bellwether, which opened 9.39 points weaker at 1,431.9 this morning, moved in a volatile pattern to as low as 1,41,431.61 as the market weighed the pending outcome of the selection of Malaysia’s 10th prime minister.

Gains in Press Metal, Sime Darby Plantation, Petronas Chemicals, and IHH Healthcare lifted the composite index by a combined 4.838 points.

On the broader market, gainers and decliners were almost equal at 389 to 382, while 417 counters were unchanged, 1,113 untraded, and 84 others suspended.

Turnover decreased sharply to 2.68 billion units worth RM1.63 billion versus 4.57 billion units worth RM2.11 billion yesterday.

Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd vice-president of equity research Thong Pak Leng said market participants stayed on the sidelines today as they awaited greater clarity on Malaysia’s political front.

“We reckon that the market sentiment will remain cautious over the next few days until there is more political clarity,” he told Bernama, projecting the FBM KLCI to continue to hover within the 1,430 and 1,450 range tomorrow.

A Special Meeting of the Malay Rulers will be held tomorrow at Istana Negara for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah to seek the views of the Malay rulers concerning the formation of a new federal government.

Meanwhile, caretaker Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the caretaker government under his leadership and the caretaker Cabinet, consisting of members of parliament that contested in the 15th General Election and won their seats, will continue to function.

He said a special Parliament session would be held to table a budget so as to pay the salaries of civil servants before December 31 if a new government has not been formed by then.

Among heavyweight stocks on Bursa, Maybank added one sen to RM8.55, Petronas Chemicals earned eight sen to RM8.78 and IHH Healthcare rose seven sen to RM5.99. CIMB was flat at RM5.51.

Public Bank trimmed one sen to RM4.28, Tenaga shed two sen to RM8.42 while Hong Leong Bank lost eight sen to RM20.48.

As for the actives, Advance Synergy slipped half-a-sen to 17.5 sen, Eden gained 1.5 sen to 19 sen and Malayan United was flat at 10 sen. ACE Market debutant ECA Integrated soared 58.5 sen to finish at 75.5 sen with 144.45 million shares changing hands.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index was 19.06 points higher at 10,266.22, the FBMT 100 Index rose 20.8 points to 9,997.43 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index bagged 37.47 points to 10,416.73. The FBM 70 gained 47.61 points to 12,251.24 and the FBM ACE added 1.3 points to 4,973.73.

Sector-wise, the Industrial Products and Services Index edged up 1.01 points to 179.86, the Energy Index advanced 14.58 points to 743.86 and the Plantation Index improved 25.47 points to 6,867.69.

The Financial Services Index, however, trimmed 3.7 points to 16,168.21.

The Main Market volume shrank to 1.84 billion shares worth RM1.33 billion from 3.94 billion shares worth RM1.94 billion yesterday.

Warrant turnover reduced to 259.02 million units valued at RM48.58 million from 320.19 million units valued at RM58.11 million yesterday.

The ACE Market volume expanded to 583.73 million shares worth RM256.22 million from 312.46 million shares worth RM115.94 million previously.

Consumer products and services counters accounted for 860.59 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (286.44 million); construction (35.04 million); technology (90.1 million); SPAC (nil), financial services (57.06 million); property (112.99 million); plantation (23.39 million); REITs (5.28 million), closed/fund (5,000); energy (112.74 million); healthcare (62.21 million); telecommunications and media (16.61 million); transportation and logistics (29.33 million); and utilities (149.23 million). — Bernama