KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 5 — Bursa Malaysia bucked the regional trend to end lower today on persistent profit-taking in most heavyweights led Maybank, Public Bank and Petronas Chemicals.

Maybank lost 1.0 sen to RM8.89, Public Bank slid 2.0 sen to RM4.63 and Petronas Chemicals shed 6.0 sen to RM8.80.

At 5pm, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) fell 6.16 points to 1,501.55 from 1,507.71 yesterday, managing to stay just a whisker above the psychological 1,500-point level.

The benchmark index opened 2.64 points weaker at 1,505.07 and fluctuated between 1,497.77 and 1,505.53 throughout the trading session.

Market breadth was mixed with 399 losers against 376 gainers, while 452 counters were unchanged, 1,020 untraded, and nine others suspended.

Total turnover declined slightly to 2.61 billion units worth RM1.62 billion from 2.65 billion units worth RM1.89 billion yesterday.

Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd vice-president of equity research Thong Pak Leng said the key regional indices ended broadly higher as investors in the region were optimistic as the market awaits a slew of earnings reports next week from Hong Kong, Chinese, Japanese, and South Korean heavyweights.

Regionwise, the Singapore Straits Times Index rose 0.40 per cent to 3,282,88, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was 0.14 per cent higher at 20,201.94, China’s SSE Composite Index climbed 1.19 per cent to 3,227.03, South Korea’s KOSPI added 0.72 per cent to 2,490.80, while Japan’s Nikkei put on 0.87 per cent to 28,175.87.

“Back home, we believe the benchmark index to remain well supported at 1,500 level by continuous foreign buying despite some profit-taking activity today,” he told Bernama.

Thong added that the valuations of Malaysian equities are cheaper than the regional peers while the weak ringgit against the US dollar will be one of the attractions for foreign funds.

“As such, we expect the FBM KLCI to trend higher within the 1,490-1,520 range for next week. Technically, we spot the next resistance at 1,530 level and support at 1,460,” he said.

Among other heavyweights, IHH Healthcare decreased 3.0 sen to RM6.43, Hong Leong Bank shed 2.0 sen to RM20.80, while both CIMB and Tenaga Nasional were flat at RM5.25 and RM8.47, respectively.

Of the actives, Metronic and Borneo Oil were flat at 7.5 sen and 2.5 sen, respectively, Euro Holdings slipped 1.5 sen to 14.5 sen, MYEG rose 3.5 sen to 81 sen, and Dagang NeXchange eased half-a-sen to 87.5 sen.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index trimmed 34.83 points to 10,659.45, the FBMT 100 Index dipped 38.16 points to 10,405.68, the FBM ACE fell 11.25 points to 4,874.03, the FBM Emas Shariah Index slid 37.41 points to 10,830.32, and the FBM 70 decreased 28.60 points to 12,775.66.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index went down 34.89 points to 16,630.32, the Industrial Products and Services Index eased 1.99 points to 183.98, and the Energy Index shed 8.04 points to 653.03, but the Plantation Index advanced 41.28 points to 7,125.27.

The Main Market volume improved to 1.79 billion shares worth RM1.39 billion against 1.73 billion shares worth RM1.63 billion yesterday.

Warrants turnover dwindled to 258.51 million units valued at RM45.99 million versus 369.91 million units valued at RM58.29 million yesterday.

The ACE Market volume increased to 555.57 million shares worth RM187.25 million from 547.97 million shares worth RM197.96 million previously.

Consumer products and services counters accounted for 320.13 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (655.50 million), construction (46.94 million), technology (272.07 million), SPAC (nil), financial services (44.19 million), property (106.19 million), plantation (28.64 million), REITs (6.20 million), closed/fund (4,000), energy (147.06 million), healthcare (131.03 million), telecommunications and media (13.59 million), transportation and logistics (18.77 million), and utilities (8.59 million). — Bernama