KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia retreated from yesterday’s gains to open lower today and in line with regional peers, alongside worries of faster US interest rate increases, following new Federal Reserve (Fed) Chair, Jerome Powell’s testimony on Tuesday.
At 9.05 am, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) stood at 1,869.35, down 2.11 points, from yesterday’s close of 1,871.46.
The key index opened 0.06 of-a-point weaker at 1,871.40.
Market breadth was negative with 261 losers against 99 gainers, while 193 counters were unchanged, 1,326 untraded and 48 others suspended.
Turnover stood at 193.79 million shares worth RM103.01 million.
In a note today, Public Investment Bank Bhd said the KLCI was pressured by Powell’s hawkish comments on US inflation, fiscal policy and growth.
“His comments caused the US dollar to make a concerted higher push, while Treasuries and US stocks sold off,” it said.
Regionally, Japan’s Nikkei fell 50.01 points or 0.22% to 22,339.85, Shanghai Composite Index lost 37.51 points or 1.13% to 3,292.07, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was flat at 31,268.66.
Among heavyweights, Maybank was unchanged at RM10.46, TNB and Public Bank went down eight sen each to RM15.68 and RM22.92 respectively, CIMB trimmed one sen to RM7.28, while Petronas Chemicals ticked up one sen to RM8.13.
Of the actively-traded stocks, Perisai Petroleum improved 1.5 sen to 6.5 sen, while UMW O&G declined two sen to 31 sen, Green Packet, Globaltec Formation and PA Resoursces were flat at 49.5 sen, five sen, and eight sen respectively.
Dutch Lady led the top losers list, falling RM2.20 to RM67.70, followed by Heng Yuan which gave up RM1.70 to RM13.40, Thong Guan reduced 44 sen to RM3.18, IQ Group slid 33 sen to RM1.45 and Lysaght went down 25 sen to RM3.90.
The FBM Emas Index eased 37.72 points to 13,311.23, the FBMT 100 Index was 31.89 points lower at 13,015.65 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index lost 41.25 points to 13,544.02.
The FBM 70 dipped 105.18 points to 16,227.94 and the FBM Ace was weaker by 56.78 points to 6,287.67.
Sector-wise, the Finance Index slipped 35.96 points to 18,263.20, the Plantation Index eased 1.63 points to 8,074.50, but the Industrial Index was 1.98 points better at 3,248.91.
Meanwhile, MyETF Dow Jones US Titans 50, Malaysia’s first US dollar-denominated Islamic Exchange Traded Fund, made its debut on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia this morning at US$1.015, a premium of US$0.015 per share with 20,100 shares changing hands.
Gold futures contracts on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives were untraded in the early session today.
At 9.35 am, spot month February 2018, March 2018, April 2018 and May 2018 remained pegged at RM168, RM168.25, RM169 and RM169.10 a gramme respectively.
Volume was nil, while open interest amounted to 69 contracts.
At 9.30 am, the price of physical gold was down by RM1.35 to RM160.88 a gramme. — Bernama