KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 21): Bursa Malaysia remained lower at midday on Thursday as profit-taking accelerated in most index-linked counters, led by the healthcare and small-capitalisation stocks, analysts said.
At 12.30am, the benchmark index declined 0.45% or 7.24 points to 1,599.08 from Wednesday's close of 1,606.32.
The bellwether index opened 2.11 points firmer at 1,608.43 and moved between 1,597.47 and 1,608.92 throughout the morning session.
Market breadth was negative with losers surpassing gainers 587 to 331, while 443 counters were unchanged, 931 untraded and 18 others suspended.
Turnover stood at 2.07 billion units worth RM1.47 billion.
In a note, ActivTrades trader Anderson Alves said Asian equities lacked firm direction on Thursday, following Wall Streets’ mixed performance overnight.
He said the S&P 500 had briefly traded within five points of a record high, but the Nasdaq had lagged as long duration sensitive stocks were pressured by the higher US Treasury yields.
Back home, heavyweights Top Glove Corp Bhd was down by 11 sen to RM2.75, Hartalega Holdings Bhd shed 17 sen to RM5.99, and IHH Healthcare Bhd eased one sen to RM6.59.
Malayan Banking Bhd fell four sen to RM8.27, Public Bank Bhd eased two sen to RM4.25, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd dropped seven sen to RM5.34, while Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd rose seven sen to RM8.87 and Tenaga Nasional Bhd gained four sen to RM9.80.
As for the actives, Supermax Corp Bhd reduced 23 sen to RM2.02, Serba Dinamik Holdings Bhd added half-a-sen to 38.5 sen and CSH Alliance Bhd added one sen to RM13.5 sen.
On the index board, the FBM Emas Index went down 53.31 points to 11,764.21, the FBMT 100 Index slid 56.23 points to 11,400.88, the FBM Emas Shariah Index reduced 52.64 points to 12,821.34, the FBM 70 declined 94.1 points to 15,391.38, and the FBM ACE gave up 68.85 points to 7,216.27.
Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index contracted 85.39 points to 15,852.38 and the Industrial Products and Services Index inched down 0.51 of-a-point to 211.94, while the Plantation Index climbed 43.23 points to 7,070.7.