Bursa remains bearish at lunch break

Bursa remains bearish at lunch break
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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 31): Bursa Malaysia ended the morning trading session in the red on Tuesday (Jan 31), dragged down by persistent selling almost across the board, as market sentiments turned cautious over speculation about another rate hike by the US Federal Reserve (Fed).

At lunch break, the benchmark FBM KLCI had fallen 11.28 points to 1,488.11, from Monday's close at 1,499.39.

The key index opened 5.60 points lower at 1,493.79, subsequently moving between 1,487.76 and 1,493.89 throughout the morning session. 

Market breadth was negative, with losers outpacing gainers 552 to 256, while 399 counters were unchanged, 1,000 untraded, and 45 others suspended.

Turnover amounted to 2.51 billion units worth RM1.13 billion.

In a note, Public Investment Bank Bhd said the benchmark index tracked the performance of US stocks which slipped, as investors hunkered down ahead of the Fed’s policy decision on Wednesday, where the central bank is expected to raise interest rates to the highest level since the 2008 financial crisis.

“Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 finished 1.3% lower on Monday, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite dropped by 2%,” it said.

Regional stock markets were mostly in the red, with Japan's Nikkei 225 reduced by 0.24% to 27,368.93, Hong Kong's Hang Seng lower by 1.27% at 21,789.31, Singapore's Strait Times Index easier by 0.12% at 3,374.28, and South Korea's Kospi erasing 0.66% to 2,434.27.

Back home, Bursa heavyweights Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) was down by four sen to RM8.74, Public Bank Bhd declined one sen to RM4.25, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd erased six sen to RM8.39, and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd was three sen easier at RM5.75.

As for the actives, ACE Market debutant Vestland Bhd gained six sen to 39 sen, G3 Global Bhd was half a sen higher at 3.5 sen and Anco Logistics Bhd too inched up half a sen to 23 sen, while Borneo Oil Bhd was unchanged at two sen and Sapura Energy Bhd was flat at five sen.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index fell 72.60 points to 10,837.03, the FBMT 100 Index shed 71.29 points to 10,506.17, and the FBM Emas Shariah Index slid 86.14 points to 11,103.49.

The FBM 70 Index contracted by 57.30 points to 13,722.80, and the FBM ACE Index dropped 58.02 points to 5,700.49.  

Sector-wise, the Industrial Products and Services Index dwindled by 1.45 points to 189.85, the Energy Index was down by 5.18 points to 888.11, the Plantation Index narrowed by 23.61 points to 6,826.45, and the Financial Services Index weakened 96.11 points to 16,441.94.