KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 — Bursa Malaysia closed higher today with the key index ending off its intraday high as buying interspersed with selling, amid mounting trade war fears after the US bans China’s telecom giant Huawei.
At the close, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) rose 6.17 points to 1,605.36, supported by gains in most heavyweights, mainly financial, telecommunications and plantation counters.
The index opened 0.13 of-a-point higher at 1,599.32, its intraday low, and moved to as high as 1,610.96 during the day.
Market breadth was negative as losers trounced gainers 407 to 342 with 404 counters unchanged, 758 untraded and 36 others suspended.
Turnover decreased to 1.91 billion shares worth RM1.46 billion from 2.03 billion shares worth RM1.71 billion yesterday.
Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd head of research Pong Teng Siew said looking at the thin trading volume, most investors were on the sidelines while some others continued to sell to lock profits.
“Today, we saw a nice rebound in the morning but trading was choppy. The market is like a yo-yo, falling sharply and up sharply, down and now up again.
“And this doesn’t really give confidence to investors to chase stocks, especially after yesterday’s sharp short selling undertaken by foreign funds,” he added.
Overall, most Asia markets were in the red on worries the US ban on Huawei will escalate tension between the two economic powerhouses.
At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was down 2.5 per cent to 2,882.30, Hang Seng dropped 1.16 per cent to 27,946.46 while Kospi Composite Index was 0.58 per cent lower at 2,055.80.
Among the heavyweights, Public Bank gained 16 sen to RM22.42, Maxis went up six sen to RM5.36 and Dialog was eight sen higher at RM3.30.
Maybank and Axiata increased four sen each to RM9.00 and RM4.44 respectively.
Of the actively-traded stocks, Lambo, Ekovest and Impiana gained half-a-sen each to seven sen, 83.5 sen and 4.5 sen respectively.
The FBM Emas Index advanced 36.67 points to 11,300.05, the FBMT 100 was 39.68 points better at 11,136.80 and the FBM 70 climbed 36.62 points to 13,855.32.
The FBM Emas Shariah Index was 19.16 points higher at 11,451.34 but the FBM Ace Index declined 31.24 points to 4,395.14.
Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index rose 66.15 points to 16,562.87, the Plantation Index gained 22.84 points to 6,895.50 while the Industrial Products and Services Index was 0.25 of-a-point lower at 163.82.
Main Market volume declined to 1.09 billion shares worth RM1.30 billion from 1.16 billion shares worth RM1.54 billion yesterday.
Warrants turnover increased to 384.05 million units valued at RM113.00 million from 345.23 million units valued at RM99.75 million.
Volume on the ACE Market slipped to 437.79 million shares worth RM49.30 million from 521.16 million shares worth RM73.67 million previously.
Consumer products and services accounted for 229.95 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (191.71 million), construction (164.58 million), technology (79.06 million), SPAC (nil), financial services (31.41 million), property (89.00 million), plantation (17.18 million), REITs (6.57 million), closed/fund (5,000), energy (194.65 million), healthcare (36.85 million), telecommunications and media (15.28 million), transportation and logistics (18.61 million) and utilities (11.93 million). — Bernama