Bursa Malaysia opens flat amid cautious regional sentiment

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia opened marginally lower on Tuesday, in line with the weaker sentiment in regional bourses as investors treaded cautiously ahead of key economic data in the United States and China later this week.

At 9.15 am, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) fell 0.27 points to 1,443.18 from Monday’s close of 1,443.45. The index opened 0.66 of a point easier at 1,442.79.

On the broader market, decliners surpassed gainers 184 to 172, while 327 counters were unchanged, 1,705 untraded, and 12 suspended. Turnover stood at 477.29 million units worth RM155.61 million.

Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd noted that Wall Street snapped a four-day losing streak overnight despite the concerns over the higher-for-longer interest rate environment, coupled with the potential of a US government shutdown.

Despite Wall Street’s positive performance, it believes traders may remain cautious ahead of the release of the US gross domestic product (GDP) data on Sept 28, US Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell’s speech (Sept 29), US core personal consumption expenditure data (Sept 29), as well as China’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI) manufacturing data.

“Nevertheless, the downside risk should be limited on our local front with the focus on the upcoming Budget 2024,” the brokerage said in a note today.

On sector focus, the brokerage believes traders could look at more defensive sectors such as utilities, while stocks with higher dividends may be favoured given the sentiment turning more cautious ahead of the release of economic data.

“Meanwhile, we expect trading activities to build up within the construction and building materials sectors ahead of Budget 2024 with the anticipation of mega infrastructure projects to be announced,” it added.

Among the heavyweight counters, Maybank was flat at RM8.87, Public Bank added one sen to RM4.19 and CIMB gained two sen to RM5.56. Tenaga Nasional lost six sen to RM10.08 and Petronas Chemicals slid four sen to RM7.28.

Of the actives, Parkson increased 1.5 sen to 34 sen, Tanco was half-a-sen higher at 55 sen while Metronic and Borneo Oil were flat at 1.5 sen each.

Meanwhile, Evergreen Max Cash made its debut on the ACE Market at 32 sen, a 33 per cent premium against its initial public offering (IPO) price of 24 sen.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index inched down 2.92 points to 10,701.95, the FBMT 100 Index dropped 2.81 points to 10,362.66a and the FBM Emas Shariah Index slipped 15.26 points to 10,948.03.

The FBM 70 Index contracted 7.89 points to 14,276.31 and the FBM ACE Index dropped 4.46 points to 5,183.42.

Sector-wise, the Industrial Products and Services Index eased by 0.22 of a point to 173.96 and the Energy Index went up 0.09 of a point to 896.24. The Plantation Index weakened by 1.61 points to 6,903.59 and the Financial Services Index improved by 20.18 points to 16,202.84. – Bernama