KUALA LUMPUR, June 21 ― Bursa Malaysia was marginally lower in early trade on mild profit-taking led by utilities and industrial products and services counters.

At 9.08am, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) was 0.49 of a point easier at 1,592.20 from yesterday’s close of 1,592.69.

The benchmark index opened 0.72 of a point higher at 1,593.41.

On the broader market, decliners outpaced gainers 207 to 188, with 304 counters unchanged, 1,738 untraded and 24 others suspended.

Turnover stood at 336.37 million units worth RM145.05 million.

Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd equity research vice-president Thong Pak Leng said the FBM KLCI continued with its correction and dipped further below the 1,600 points level on persistent selling from foreign funds.

“We believe bargain-hunting activities should emerge anytime soon as a swift rebound above the 1,600 mark is necessary to maintain the (recent) uptrend. Therefore, we expect the index to hover at the 1,595-1,605 range today,” he told Bernama.

Meanwhile, it was a mixed Wall Street performance overnight with the S&P 500 touching a new record high before easing into negative territory following weaker than expected economic data, coupled with a higher than estimated weekly jobless claims. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 300 points while the Nasdaq lost 140 points as the US 10-year Treasury yield inched marginally higher at 4.26 per cent.

Over in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index closed slightly lower yesterday following the declining Chinese yuan which touched a seven-month low as China kept rates intact.

On Bursa Malaysia, heavyweights YTL Power International slid 4.0 sen to RM5.01, Petronas Gas dipped 20 sen to RM17.79 and Press Metal Aluminium was 1.0 sen lower at RM5.79. Petronas Chemicals eased 3.0 sen to RM6.49 and Nestle gave up 90 sen to RM123.10.

Of the most active counters, Ingenieur Gudang recovered half-a-sen to 7.0 sen, Agricore CS rallied 35.5 sen to 85.5 sen and ATA IMS added 3.5 sen to 56.5 sen. Siab decreased by 1.5 sen to 12.5 sen and WCT rose 3.0 sen to 79.5 sen.

Nestle led the top decliners list, followed by Dutch Lady Milk Industries which reduced 60 sen to RM36.20. Petronas Gas fell 20 sen to RM17.62, Pentamaster shed 12 sen to RM4.93 and Paragon declined 11 sen to RM3.50.

Agricore CS topped the gainers list, followed by United Plantations which added 16 sen to RM23.96. Master-Pack grew 11 sen to RM4.20, AEON Credit gained 9.0 sen to RM7.64 and Genting climbed 8.0 sen to RM4.77.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index dipped 4.67 points to 12,238.68, the FBMT 100 Index gave up 6.13 points to 11,815.55 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index slid 8.64 points to 12,580.80. The FBM 70 Index dropped 19.42 points to 17,869.98 and the FBM ACE Index dipped 17.50 points to 5,736.54.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index sank 22.52 points to 17,396.88, the Industrial Products and Services Index eased 0.38 of-a-point to 197.09 and the Energy Index slid 2.37 points to 971.04.

The Plantation Index weakened by 12.33 points to 6,995.65. ― Bernama