KUALA LUMPUR (April 19): Bursa Malaysia reversed to downtrend momentum after three straight days of gains amid weaker oil prices and cautious sentiment due to the rising COVID-19 cases.
At 9.05am, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) decreased 3.5 points to 1,604.88 compared to Friday's close of 1,608.38.
The barometer index opened 0.27 of-a-point weaker at 1,608.11.
The overall market breadth was weaker with losers outpacing gainers 270 to 200, while 350 counters were unchanged, 1,339 untraded, and seven others suspended.
Total volume stood at 406.58 million shares worth RM200.76 million.
Malacca Securities said the local bourse may extend its sideways move as investors may weigh the progress of the vaccination programme and the recent spike in the number of daily COVID-19 confirmed cases to the detriment of the economy.
However, it believes plantation counters are likely to be in the limelight amid surging crude palm oil (CPO) prices.
The CPO price jumped back above RM3,700 per tonne.
"Besides, we expect buying interest to emerge in stocks with high earning certainties such as consumers, packaging and property.
"At the same time, the technology sector may stay in focus with the Nasdaq remained supported above 14,000 level," it said in a note today.
The US stock markets ended Friday’s trading on a positive note with the Dow increasing 0.48 per cent to 34,200.67, the S&P 500 gaining 0.36 per cent to 4,185.47, and Nasdaq rising 0.10 per cent to 14,052.34.
Oil prices were reported declining after latest data showed a rise in the weekly US oil-rig count.
Baker Hughes, on Friday, said the number of oil and gas rigs in the US increased by seven this week, bringing the total count to 439.
On the home front, heavyweights Press Metal dropped one sen to RM5.39, Top Glove trimmed seven sen to RM5.50, PetChem declined six sen to RM7.87, IHH was five sen weaker at RM5.34, and Digi inched down four sen to RM4.21.
In contrast, Axiata gained three sen to RM3.83 and Hap Seng rose nine sen to RM8.36.
Among the active counters, Fintec Global and XOX both were unchanged at five sen and six sen, respectively.
Bina Puri increased one sen to 10 sen and Ucrest went up three sen to 38 sen.
On the index board, the FBM Emas Index was 9.63 points easier at 11,841.15, the FBM Emas Shariah erased 7.54 points to 13,267.90 and the FBMT 100 decreased 19.34 points to 11,484.23.
The FBM 70 slid 4.22 points to 15,664.95 and the FBM ACE reduced 15.68 points to 8,581.67.
Sector-wise, the Plantation Index edged down 0.83 of-a-point to 6,879.22, while the Financial Services Index improved 6.71 points to 15,081.87, and the Industrial Products and Services Index added 0.14 of-a-point to 196.97.