Bursa Malaysia rally stalls on profit-taking, KLCI slips 1.2pc

An investor monitors the stock prices in the gallery of the RHB Investment Bank Bhd headquarters in Kuala Lumpur March 17, 2020. ― Picture by Hari Anggara
An investor monitors the stock prices in the gallery of the RHB Investment Bank Bhd headquarters in Kuala Lumpur March 17, 2020. ― Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 17 — Bursa Malaysia fell today, ending its three-day rally, as selling pressure weighed on the overall market, in sync with regional bourses.

At 5pm, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) fell 18.21 points or 1.2 per cent to 1,513.07 with losses seen in almost all sectors except energy and consumer.

Losses in Top Glove, Maybank, Public Bank, PChem, MISC, Maxis and CIMB contributed heavily to the weaker performance in the benchmark index.

The FBM KLCI opened 9.86 points firmer from Tuesday’s close of 1,531.28 and moved between 1,508.01 and 1,541.14.

Losers thumped gainers at 768 to 376, while 363 counters were unchanged, 536 untraded and 20 others suspended.

Total volume, however, was lower at 7.53 billion shares worth RM6.2 billion from 8.85 billion shares worth RM5.44 billion on Tuesday.

Bursa Malaysia’s performance was dragged down mainly by glove and banking counters, with the healthcare and financial services indices dropping more than three and one per cent respectively at closing.

Bank Muamalat’s economist Izuan Ahmad said profit-taking was probably triggered after Top Glove announced a better-than-expected showing in its financial results.

The glove maker’s net profit for the fourth quarter and full-year 2020 (FY20) soared to a record high of RM1.29 billion and RM1.87 billion respectively as demand for rubber gloves surged globally amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Revenue for FY20 jumped to RM7.24 billion from RM4.8 billion previously.

Top Glove, the third most active counter today, declared a final dividend of 8.5 sen with a payout of some RM691.8 million, bringing its total dividend payout for FY20 to about RM961.2 million.

Meanwhile, Izuan said banking counters soared recently after Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) kept its Overnight Policy Rate at 1.75 per cent.

“Profit-taking could also be driven by investors’ reaction towards the mixed performance of the local banking sector in the second quarter of the year.

“Major local banks such as Maybank, Public Bank and CIMB recorded lower net profit by 51.5 per cent, 24.8 per cent and 82.0 per cent, respectively,” he told Bernama.

On the external front, investors reacted negatively after the US Federal Reserve (US Fed) indicated that the overnight rate could stay close to zero for years to reach its 2.0 per cent inflation target.

The US Fed had also revised its estimates for economic growth in 2021 and 2022 downwards to 4.0 per cent and 3.0 per cent, respectively, but announced no additional stimulus plans.

Among the heavyweights, Top Glove reversed early gains to end 7.6 per cent or 64 sen lower at RM7.79, while Hartalega was flat at RM14.10.

Maybank dropped 13 sen to RM7.37, Public Bank declined 20 sen to RM16.50, PChem was nine sen weaker at RM5.60 and MISC went down 15 sen to RM7.58.

Maxis inched down eight sen to RM5.05, while CIMB and Axiata both declined five sen to RM3.18 and RM3.05, respectively.

Meanwhile, Ekovest was unchanged at 58 sen, GPA slipped two sen to 19.5 sen and Technodex was two sen higher at 18 sen.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index fell 120.51 points to 10,858.69 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index erased 155.86 points to 12,789.53.

The FBM 70 gave up 93.57 points to 13,989.32, the FBMT 100 Index was 114.22 points weaker at 10,677.62, and the FBM ACE slid 232.07 points to 11,146.42.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index reduced 91.55 points to 12,734.85, the Plantation Index declined 16.54 points to 7,097.70, while the Industrial Products and Services Index went down 1.66 points to 135.91.

Main Market volume declined to 4.49 billion shares worth RM4.83 billion from 5.28 billion shares worth RM4.05 billion on Tuesday.

Warrants turnover, however, increased to 971.81 million units valued at RM299.81 million compared with 742.74 million units valued at RM203.58 million.

Volume on the ACE Market slipped to 2.06 billion shares worth RM1.08 billion versus 2.83 billion shares worth RM1.23 billion previously.

Consumer products and services accounted for 883.57 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (1.25 billion), construction (759.02 million), technology (208.13 million), SPAC (nil), financial services (44.23 million), property (439.03 million), plantations (76.19 million), REITs (6.4 million), closed/fund (18,500), energy (366.19 million), healthcare (319.86 million), telecommunications and media (36.25 million), transportation and logistics (88.29 million), and utilities (22.29 million). — Bernama

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