Bursa Malaysia pulls back to end lower amid Covid-19 concerns

A view of the bursa stock market exchange board in RHB Investment Bank in Kuala Lumpur February 6, 2018. — Picture Ahmad Zamzahuri

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 21 — Bursa Malaysia ended lower today as the market pullback continued due to persistent worries over the Covid-19 impact and weaker oil prices.

The local market also moved in tandem with regional bourses amid worries over the economic consequences of Covid-19 and uncertainty surrounding oil demand.

At 5pm, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) ended at its intraday low of 1,596.58, down 10.99 points, compared to yesterday’s close of 1,607.57.

The market bellwether opened 2.70 points higher at 1,604.87 and fluctuated between 1,596.58 and 1,605.73 throughout the session.

Overall market breadth was negative with losers outpacing gainers 551 to 509, while 443 counters were unchanged, 663 untraded and seven others suspended.

Total volume increased to 8.68 billion shares worth RM4.40 billion from 8.16 billion shares worth RM4.08 billion on Tuesday.

Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd economist Adam Mohamed Rahim said India reported its worst daily Covid-19 death toll on Tuesday, with large parts of the country now under lockdown, which had led to concerns over the global economic trajectory this year.

“In addition, a new wave of Covid-19 cases in Japan has increased the likelihood that Tokyo, Osaka and surrounding areas will be put on lockdown.

“All in all, this has outweighed the optimism from vaccination rates in the US, United Kingdom and Europe,” Adam told Bernama, adding this had also caused jitters in the oil market.

He said there were worries over oil demand, pushing the Brent crude price lower, and subsequently causing the Bursa Malaysia Energy index to drop by 1.7 per cent, registering the largest loss among the sectoral indices.

Most heavyweights were in the red with only glove counters in the positive territory due to optimism over continued demand for rubber gloves, which would support their average selling price, amid the rise in Covid-19 cases.

Telecommunications counters led the losers, with Axiata shedding 19 sen to RM3.81, Maxis dipped 10 sen to RM4.68, Digi declined five sen to RM4.20, and TM slid 11 sen to RM5.83.

CIMB eased seven sen to RM4.22, Sime Darby Plantations reduced eight sen to RM4.43 and Petronas Chemicals was six sen lower at RM7.79.

Top Glove rose five sen to RM5.45, Supermax added 14 sen to RM5.54 and Hartalega surged 25 sen to RM10.02.

Among the active counters, Key Asic edged up half-a-sen to 21 sen, Ucrest slashed 11 sen to 48.5 sen, SC Estate Builder lost 2.5 sen to 10 sen, and Censof was down two sen to 46 sen.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index shed 70.01 points to 11,755.12, the FBMT 100 trimmed 75.78 points to 11,410.77, while the FBM 70 fell 92.47 points to 15,510.45.

The FBM Emas Shariah slid 79.49 points to 13,152.59 and the FBM ACE was 66.58 points weaker at 8,526.08.

Sector-wise, the Plantation Index declined 62 points to 6,818.03, the Financial Services Index slipped 81.73 points to 15,011.42, and the Industrial Products and Services Index was 0.32 of-a-point lower at 194.76.

Main Market volume rose to 5.03 billion shares worth RM3.35 billion against 4.42 billion shares worth RM2.81 billion yesterday.

Warrants turnover increased to 364.98 million units valued at RM49.19 million from 307.88 million units valued at RM36.56 million previously.

Volume on the ACE Market declined to 3.29 billion shares worth RM1 billion from 3.44 billion shares worth RM1.23 billion yesterday.

Consumer products and services accounted for 710.36 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (1.17 billion), construction (169.41 million), technology (1.89 billion), SPAC (nil), financial services (44.14 million), property (296.77 million), plantations (32.17 million), REITs (4.71 million), closed/fund (15,000), energy (263.74 million), healthcare (102.71 million), telecommunications and media (184.81 million), transportation and logistics (121.68 million), and utilities (35.52 million). — Bernama