KUALA LUMPUR, June 22 — Heavy selling in plantations, energy and healthcare stocks dragged Bursa Malaysia to finish at its lowest level in 25 months, dealers said.

At 5pm, the barometer index dipped 26.78 points or 1.83 per cent to 1,431.10 from yesterday’s close of 1,457.88.

This is the weakest level last seen on the local exchange when it closed at 1,435.12 on May 20, 2020.

The key index opened 3.25 points firmer at 1,461.13 and hit a high of 1,461.53 in early morning before slipping to its intraday low of 1,431.10 at the close of the session.

On the broader market, losers thumped gainers 640 to 255, while 381 counters were unchanged, 999 untraded, and 19 others suspended.

Total turnover decreased to 2.72 billion units worth RM1.90 billion from 2.79 billion units worth RM1.86 billion yesterday.

Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd vice-president of equity research Thong Pak Leng said the decline on the local bourse was in tandem with regional performance whereby the key indices were broadly lower as investors were cautious ahead of the United States (US) Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s key testimony before Congress later, which is expected to sound extremely hawkish.

“Additionally, worries about economic downturn in the US could spread to other regions of the world,” Thong told Bernama.

The direction of local bourse in the near term remained uncertain and would depend very much on regional volatility, he added.

“Nonetheless, at current level, we believe the FBM KLCI remains in an oversold position, hence we expect the benchmark index to stage a rebound soon,” he said.

Thong anticipates the local bourse to move higher within the range of 1,430-1,460 for the remainder of the week, with immediate resistance at 1,490 and support at 1,415.

Bursa Malaysia heavyweights Sime Darby Plantation shed 38 sen to RM4.04, Kuala Lumpur Kepong slid RM1.30 to RM22.14, IHH Healthcare fell 11 sen to RM6.38, Hartalega slipped 23 sen to RM2.17, and Dialog Group eased three sen to RM2.07.

Of the actives, TWL Holdings declined one sen to 6.5 sen, Top Glove decreased seven sen to RM1.01, while MNC Wireless was unchanged at 1.5 sen, Lay Hong added 1.5 sen to 28.5 sen, and Cypark Resources gained one sen to 42.5 sen.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index slumped 183.60 points to 10,211.24, FBM Emas Shariah Index decreased 223.56 points to 10,343.98, FBM 70 slid 192.92 points to 12,359.51, FBMT 100 Index slipped 178.96 points to 9,952.34, and the FBM ACE declined 109.49 points to 4,715.49.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index sank 183.06 points to 15,976.12, the Plantation Index tumbled 325.34 points to 6,789.63, and the Industrial Products and Services Index shed 3.30 points to 183.06.

The Main Market volume expanded to 1.73 billion shares worth RM1.65 billion from 1.69 billion shares worth RM1.56 billion yesterday.

Warrants turnover improved to 547.89 million units valued at RM106.68 million against 543.84 million units valued at RM102.68 million yesterday.

The ACE Market volume dwindled to 441.90 million shares worth RM137.99 million from 555.05 million shares worth RM200.21 million previously.

Consumer products and services counters accounted for 332.79 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (471.30 million), construction (49.78 million), technology (154.45 million), SPAC (nil), financial services (59.15 million), property (241.17 million), plantation (48.82 million), REITs (6.07 million), closed/fund (nil), energy (202.52 million), healthcare (110.63 million), telecommunications and media (25.52 million), transportation and logistics (24.62 million), and utilities (11.75 million). — Bernama