Bursa opens lower as new Covid-19 variant clouds sentiment

Bursa opens lower as new Covid-19 variant clouds sentiment
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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 29): Bursa Malaysia opened the week on a lower note as worries over the emergence of a new Covid-19 variant clouded buying sentiment, analysts said. 

At 9.05am on Monday (Nov 29), the benchmark FBM KLCI had dropped 8.81 points to 1,503.41 from 1,512.22 at last Friday's close.

The index opened 4.43 points weaker at 1,507.79. 

Losers thumped gainers 589 to 80, while 188 counters were unchanged, 1,455 untraded and 78 others suspended.

Total volume stood at 401.14 million units worth RM263.24 million. 

Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd said the new Covid-19 variant known as Omicron may result in a mixed sentiment as the data such as infectivity and the mortality rate would only be known in another one to two weeks’ time.

Meantime, tracking the mild rebound in overseas futures at the point of writing, there is a slight chance for a technical rebound on Monday, but the upside would be capped as Covid-19 concerns remain valid.

Commodities-wise, crude oil prices dropped over 11% on market worries that the Covid-19 conditions may eventually result in an oil supply surplus, while crude palm oil prices fell.

“The selldown in recovery-themed sectors may continue with more countries imposing travel bans, while we could expect fresh buying interest within the healthcare sector at least for the near term.

“Nevertheless, bargain hunting will emerge if the selldown is significant for the recovery-themed sectors,” said the brokerage firm in its Market Pulse note. 

On the technical outlook, it said the KLCI declined further from the 1,520 support level following last Friday’s selldown.

It noted that the next support level is pegged at 1,500, while resistance is pegged at around 1,535-1,560.

Among the heavyweights, Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) was down eight sen to RM8.02, Public Bank Bhd eased three sen to RM3.97, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd (PetChem) fell 10 sen to RM8.33, Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) dipped five sen to RM9.33, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd reduced 14 sen to RM4.96 and IHH Healthcare Bhd was flat at RM6.56. 

Of the actives, Careplus Group Bhd rose 13 sen to RM1.35, while Kanger International Bhd eased half a sen to three sen and Dagang NeXchange Bhd (DNeX) slipped 1.5 sen to 80 sen. 

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index narrowed 92.01 points to 10,987.12, the FBMT 100 Index contracted 80.43 points to 10,682.22 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index went down 62.20 points to 11,978.54.

The FBM 70 lost 178.29 points to 14,276.32 and the FBM ACE weakened 91.37 points to 6,371.94. 

Sector-wise, the Industrial Products and Services Index shed 3.14 points to 199.63, the Financial Services Index trimmed 178.58 points to 14,965.09 and the Plantation Index slipped 50.94 points to 6,414.10.