KUALA LUMPUR (July 16): The FBM KLCI closed down 3.43 points or 0.21% as investors appeared to favour Bursa Malaysia's lower liner and small market-capitalisation (small cap) stocks over large cap entities amid external uncertainties.
Analysts said these uncertainties include a potential US interest rate cut and the outlook of the US-China trade dispute. At Bursa, the KLCI closed at 1,668.94 at 5pm while the FBM70 index rose 41.84 points or 0.28% to 14,950.68.
Sector wise, the Energy Index climbed 17.44 points or 1.58% to 1,123.74 to become the largest percentage gainer across Bursa indices as investors grappled with external uncertainties.
"The outlook for the local market is still a bit uncertain. There are a few factors in the background that are affecting investor sentiment, including a potential cut in US interest rates and the US-China trade dispute," said an analyst with a local research house.
Globally, Reuters reported that although most Asian stock markets rose on Tuesday, gains were, however, limited as investors awaited US retail sales data and corporate earnings to gauge the health of the world's biggest economy ahead of a likely US rate cut later this month.
In Malaysia today, analysts said lower liner and small-cap stocks could be in demand as investors evaluated the impact of global uncertainties on the broader market.
Earlier today, TA Securities Holdings Bhd wrote in a note that "the recent strong trading momentum on lower liners and small caps should continue to highlight trading and cushion profit-taking".
Such sentiment on lower liner and small cap stocks helped volume across Bursa reach 3.32 billion shares worth RM2.09 billion. At a glance, energy-related stocks including KNM Group Bhd and Bumi Armada Bhd closed up among the most active counters across the exchange.
KNM and Bumi Armada registered a volume of some 175 million and 127 million shares respectively. KNM closed up 1.5 sen or 3.9% at 40 sen while Bumi Armada ended unchanged at 25 sen.