KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 19 — Bursa Malaysia ended the morning trade easier, amid continued selling in mainly plantation and financial counters, but gains in utilities stocks capped further losses.
At lunch break, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) lost 5.03 points to 1,594.46 from yesterday's close of 1,599.49.
The index opened 0.84 of-a-point easier at 1,598.65 and moved between 1,593.10 and 1,599.17 throughout the morning session.
Market breadth was negative as losers led gainers 406 to 269 with 345 counters unchanged, 959 untraded and 15 others suspended.
Turnover stood at 1.21 billion shares worth RM623.19 million.
Among financial stocks that slid were Ambank, Maybank, Hong Leong Financial and RHB, while plantation counters that saw continuous selling included KL Kepong, Sime Darby Plantation and United Plantation.
Among the utilities stocks that helped the index was TNB which rose two sen to RM13.62 and Petronas Gas, firming six sen to RM16.52.
Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd in a research note today said lower liners and broader market shares were also heading nowhere, amid the still thin market, on the back of insipid conditions that look like prolonging.
“As it is, sentiment is still cautious, and the lack of direction will keep many retail players on the sidelines for longer, in our opinion,” it added.
Among heavyweights, Public Bank was flat at RM20.16, Petronas Chemicals eased one sen to RM7.68 and IHH Healthcare fell seven sen to RM5.68.
The FBM Emas Index declined 38.64 points to 11,260.83, the FBMT 100 Index dropped 39.83 points to 11,093.92 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index went down 51.76 points to 11,809.94.
The FBM 70 depreciated 69.97 points to 13,932.21 and the FBM Ace fell 22.70 points to 4,508.26.
Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index declined 14.40 points to 15,435.65, the Plantation Index weakened by 38.10 points to 6,786.99, and the Industrial Products & Services Index was 0.52 of-a-point lower at 154.06. — Bernama