KL shares open easier

KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 — Shares on Bursa Malaysia opened easier this morning after a mixed overnight performance by Wall Street, dealers said.

At 9.03am, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) stood at 1,854.75, falling 6.47 points from 1,861.22 at yesterday's close.

The key index opened 6.14 points easier at 1,855.08.

Public Investment Bank Bhd said in a note, gains for US technology stocks helped the Nasdaq Composite index reach a fresh intraday record high, although the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average struggled to extend last Friday’s strong gains.

“Underlying support for US and global equities continued to come from Friday’s US jobs report, which showed much stronger than expected jobs creation last month, but tepid earnings growth,” said the research firm.

Meanwhile, regionally, OANDA Head of Trading Asia-Pacific, Stephen Innes said President Donald Trump, took a protectionism stance by issuing an order Monday evening blocking any merger of the Singapore-based chipmaking giant Broadcom and US-based Qualcomm, saying it was necessary to protect national security.

“There is “credible evidence,” the order says, that if Broadcom took control of Qualcomm, the company “might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States.

“It is quite clear the president is setting his sights on Asia using what seems to be an arbitrary national security provision,” Innes told Bernama.

On the local front, market breadth was negative with 117 losers against 89 gainers, while 177 counters were unchanged, 1,493 untraded and 21 others suspended.

Turnover stood at 83.24 million shares worth RM29.71 million.

Among heavyweights, Maybank declined two sen to RM10.42, Public Bank decreased eight sen to RM22.58, Tenaga trimmed four sen to RM15.58, while CIMB was flat at RM7.27.

Of actives, Perak Transit rose two sen to 29.5 sen, Lien Hoe Corp increased one sen to 46 sen, while Nexgram, Sumatec and SKH Consortium were flat at five sen, 6.5 sen and 9.5 sen respectively.

The FBM Emas Index declined 39.31 points to 13,071.56, the FBMT 100 Index was 41.14 points lower at 12,814.03 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index trimmed 10.42 points to 13,283.78.

The FBM 70 decreased 28.57 points to 15,653.93, while the FBM Ace was 20.95 points higher at 6,001.00.

Sectorwise, the Finance Index contracted 101.33 points to 18,009.23, the Industrial Index inched down 7.96 points to 3,229.07, while the Plantation Index rose 3.15 points to 8,091.35. — Bernama

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