KUALA LUMPUR (May 5): Bursa Malaysia opened marginally higher in choppy trading today, as overall investor sentiment remained cautious due to the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) 3.0.
At 9.05am, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) inched up 0.18 of-a-point to 1,588.43 from Tuesday's close of 1,588.25.
The barometer index opened 3.73 higher at 1,591.98.
On the broader market, losers edged past gainers 245 to 202, while 291 counters were unchanged, 1,416 untraded and five others suspended.
Total volume stood at 359.92 million shares worth RM172.87 million.
Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd said Bursa Malaysia is expected to remain subdued on the back of rising Covid-19 cases, which has led to a tighter MCO implementation in six districts in Selangor.
"Meanwhile, the technology sector may see further pullback following the Nasdaq’s overnight decline in Wall Street.
"On commodities, Brent crude price has spiked to a near two-month high on demand optimism, while lumber futures charged towards an all-time-high region," it said in a note today.
The research house said for today, the sector to focus on is the packaging-related counters amidst the implementation of MCO 3.0.
“Additionally, higher Brent crude price, coupled with the higher-than-expected results from oil giant Saudi Aramco could spur buying interest, while trading interest should be noticed within lumber-related stocks," it added.
Yesterday, the government announced that interstate and inter-district travel will be banned in Hulu Langat, Petaling, Gombak, Klang, Kuala Langat and Sepang, which have been placed under MCO from May 6 to 17 due to the surge in new Covid-19 cases in those areas.
Senior Minister (Security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said social activities are disallowed under the new measures, but most economic activities will not be affected.
Among the heavyweights, Malayan Banking Bhd and Public Bank Bhd were flat at RM8.24 and RM4.12, respectively. Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd eased six sen to RM8.12, Tenaga Nasional Bhd fell two sen to RM9.95 and IHH Healthcare Bhd rose three sen to RM5.29.
Of the actives, KNM Group Bhd gained half a sen to 19 sen, Ta Win Holdings Bhd added 3.5 sen to 17 sen, Tanco Holdings Bhd was flat at nine sen and Velesto Energy Bhd eased half-a-sen to 15.5 sen.
Top gainers include Transocean Holdings Bhd, which increased 43 sen to RM6.63; Gopeng Bhd, which gained 22 sen to RM1.35; and Hengyuan Refining Company Bhd, which strengthened 15 sen to RM5.75.
Of the losers, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd declined 50 sen to RM38, Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd lost 30 sen to RM135.50 and Unisem (M) Bhd reduced 19 sen to RM7.71.
On the index board, the FBM Emas Index was 2.59 points lower at 11,698.59, the FBM Emas Shariah Index eased 12.92 points to 13,121.40, the FBMT 100 Index fell 7.38 points to 11,341.18, the FBM 70 contracted 43.53 points to 15,372.05, and the FBM ACE lost 36.06 points to 8,591.34.
Sector-wise, the Industrial Products and Services Index decreased 0.36 of-a-point to 198.87, the Plantation Index weakened by 16.03 points to 6,975.98, while the Financial Services Index gained 21.02 points to 14,860.24.