Banks, financial stocks sell-off drags Bursa Malaysia lower

File picture shows an investor monitoring stock prices in the gallery of the RHB Investment Bank Bhd headquarters, July 16, 2018. — Bernama pic
File picture shows an investor monitoring stock prices in the gallery of the RHB Investment Bank Bhd headquarters, July 16, 2018. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, July 31 — Weak global market sentiment weighed down by the bleak external developments pushed Bursa Malaysia to close lower for the third consecutive session today, with selling mostly in banking and financial stocks, dealers said.

At 5pm, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) eased 7.82 points to 1,634.87 from Monday’s close of 1,642.69 as investors’ risk appetite remained low.

The composite index, which mostly stayed in the red, moved between 1,626.32 and 1,642.73 throughout the day.

The FBM KLCI was heavily punished by losses in Public Bank, Sime Darby and Maybank that saw a total of 5.424 points erased.

JF Apex Securities head of research Lee Chung Cheng said the Bursa sell-down was dragged down mainly by banking and financial stocks ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s projected interest-rate cut.

He also said the weak performance was also partly due to the subdued optimism over a US-China trade war resolution, killing hopes for global growth recovery.

“The downtrend is likely to persist until the end of the week. The next resistance level is at 1,675 with support at 1,625,” he told Bernama.

In line with the performance of global equities, the overall market breadth on Bursa Malaysia was dour with 603 losers to 259 gainers, while 403 counters remained unchanged, 921 untraded and 74 others suspended.

Turnover rose to 2.75 billion units worth RM2.75 billion from Monday’s close of 2.64 billion units worth RM1.72 billion.

The local bourse and its subsidiaries were closed yesterday in conjunction with the installation of Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah as the country’s 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Among heavyweights, Maybank and Petronas Chemicals lost eight sen each to RM8.65 and RM7.49 respectively, while both IHH Healthcare and CIMB shed one sen each to RM5.74 and RM5.08 respectively.

Public Bank fell 30 sen to RM21.90 with 7.75 million shares changing hands amid the sentiment surrounding the lawsuit filed by the National Feedlot Corporation over the leak of the company’s bank account details.

The suit was dismissed by the High Court on July 29.

Meanwhile, Tenaga rose 20 sen to RM13.82 with 14.63 million shares transacted, with the utility company planning for an internal reorganisation.

As for the actives, Netx and Sapura Energy were flat at 1.5 sen and 30 sen respectively, KNM slipped one sen to 40.5 sen, Priceworth inched down half-a-sen to 6.5 sen, but Green Packet added 1.5 sen to 62.5 sen.

The FBM Emas Index contracted 69.42 points to 11,589.67, the FBMT 100 Index slid 67.3 points to 11,413.85, the FBM Emas Shariah Index decreased 49.04 points to 12,002.94, and the FBM 70 depreciated 137.68 points to 14,494.35.

However, the FBM Ace gained 32.89 points at 4,767.79.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index gave up 133.34 points to 16,059, the Industrial Products and Services Index slipped 1.19 points to 154.32, and the Plantation Index was 79.19 points weaker at 6,733.29.

Main Market volume decreased slightly to 1.76 billion shares worth RM2.60 billion versus 1.80 billion shares valued at RM1.56 billion recorded on Monday.

Warrants turnover decreased to 413.01 million units worth RM73.83 million from 546.43 million units valued at RM114.57 million.

Volume on the ACE Market expanded to 570.24 million shares worth RM71.04 million against 298.56 million shares valued at RM53.64 million previously.

Consumer products and services accounted for 293.96 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (223.25 million), construction (116.06 million), technology (126.26 million), SPAC (nil), financial services (76.04 million), property (89.57 million), plantations (16.11 million), REITs (10.68 million), closed/fund (nil), energy (474.40 million), healthcare (33.76 million), telecommunications and media (212.97 million), transportation and logistics (53.88 million) and utilities (33.32 million). — Bernama

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