KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 18 — The FBM KLCI ended almost flat today in choppy trading but the broader market was lower as profit-takers triumphed over bargain-hunters, amidst weak sentiment due to bearish performance of regional markets.
At 5pm, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) eased 0.04 of-a-point to 1,537.08 from Monday’s close of 1,537.12.
After opening 0.61 of-a-point weaker at 1,536.51 this morning, the local index moved between 1,532.89 and 1,537.87 throughout the day.
Market breadth was negative with losers overwhelming gainers 598 to 254, while 384 counters were unchanged, 737 untraded and 22 others suspended.
Turnover decreased to 2.78 billion shares worth RM2.05 billion from 2.91 billion shares worth RM1.9 billion recorded on Monday.
In a note, Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd said with market conditions remaining challenging, the negative market sentiment might prolong as the FBM KLCI looked to re-test the 1,515 level, while a recovery was 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 season that will be released over the next 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.
Meanwhile, in a separate note, Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd said some bargain hunting emerged in index-linked stocks considering yesterday’s unexpected decline.
Although concerns over the Covid-19 outbreak seems to have subsided for now, it said effects from the outbreak would have an adverse impact on earnings by the United States’ corporates.
“As such, we anticipate Wall Street to open weaker tonight, hence, we expect the FBM KLCI to trend at a narrow range of between 1,535 and 1,540 today,” it added.
Regionally, the Singapore Straits Times lost 0.54 per cent to 3,195.71, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 1.54 per cent to 27,530.20 and Japan’s Nikkei 225 declined 1.40 per cent to 23,193.80.
Among heavyweights on Bursa Malaysia, Maybank erased two sen to RM8.47, Tenaga added 10 sen to RM12.60, Public Bank gained eight sen to RM17.70 and Petronas Chemicals fell seven sen to RM6.48.
Of the actives, Icon Offshore shed 5.5 sen to 12 sen, MYEG eased nine sen to RM1.24 and DGB Asia was one sen lower at 6.5 sen.
On the scoreboard, the FBM Emas Index declined 29.25 points to 10,999.29, the FBMT 100 Index fell 23.25 points to 10,789.84 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index gave up 67.31 points to 11,756.23.
The FBM 70 dipped 123.81 points to 13,943.03 and the FBM Ace was down 97.26 points to 5,540.60.
Sector-wise, the Industrial Products and Services Index inched down 1.33 points to 146.00, the Financial Services Index added 24.68 points to 14,637.73 and the Plantation Index shed 63.69 points to 7,236.63.
Main Market volume rose to 1.81 billion shares valued at RM1.84 billion from 1.74 billion shares valued at RM1.63 billion yesterday.
Warrants turnover increased to 353.82 million units worth RM54.94 million from 325.81 million units worth RM52.9 million.
Volume on the ACE Market decreased to 615.51 million shares valued at RM157.43 million from 841.55 million shares valued at RM217.22 million.
Consumer products and services accounted for 257.90 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (248.22 million), construction (102.84 million), technology (241.19 million), SPAC (nil), financial services (44.97 million), property (127.35 million), plantations (33.99 million), REITs (22.75 million), closed/fund (8,000), energy (503.98 million), healthcare (25.39 million), telecommunications and media (125.23 million), transportation and logistics (60.49 million), and utilities (20.83 million). — Bernama