Bursa Malaysia opens lower on weak market sentiment

At 9.29am, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) declined 2.59 points to 1,534.53 from Monday's close of 1,537.12, after opening 0.61 point weaker at 1,536.51 this morning. — Picture by Hari Anggara
At 9.29am, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) declined 2.59 points to 1,534.53 from Monday's close of 1,537.12, after opening 0.61 point weaker at 1,536.51 this morning. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 18 ― Bursa Malaysia opened lower today on weak market sentiment as investors turned their focus to the corporate earnings that will be released over the next one to two weeks.

At 9.29am, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) declined 2.59 points to 1,534.53 from Monday's close of 1,537.12, after opening 0.61 point weaker at 1,536.51 this morning.

Losers led gainers by 311 to 123 on the broader market, with 241 counters unchanged, 1,298 untraded and 22 others suspended.

Turnover amounted to 515.84 million shares worth RM212.10 million.

In a note, Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd said with market conditions remaining challenging, the negative market sentiment might prolong as the FBM KLCI looks to re-test the 1,515 level, while a recovery is expected to be mild with gains limited towards the 1,560 level.

“Market sentiment has turned slightly downbeat as investors turned their focus to the corporate earnings that will be released in these one to two weeks. We opine that plantation companies are expected to outperform, potentially backed by the surge in crude palm oil prices towards end-2019,” it added.

Among heavyweights on Bursa Malaysia, Maybank eased one sen to RM8.48, Tenaga was flat at RM12.50, Public Bank gained six sen to RM17.68 and Petronas Chemicals declined three sen to RM6.52.

Of the actives, Icon Offshore fell five sen to 12.5 sen, while Sapura Energy and DGB Asia were each half-a-sen higher at 24.5 sen and eight sen, respectively.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index lost 24.35 points to 11,004.19, the FBM Emas Shariah Index was 40.21 points lower at 11,783.34 and the FBMT 100 Index decreased 22.45 points to 10,790.64.

The FBM 70 shed 46.24 points to 14,020.60 and the FBM Ace erased 22.03 points to 5,615.83.

Sector-wise, the Industrial Products and Services Index inched down 0.40 point to 146.93, the Financial Services Index was 2.63 points higher at 14,615.68 but the Plantation Index was 33.43 points lower at 7,266.89. ― Bernama

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