Bursa Malaysia ends easier on profit-taking

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia ended easier today on profit-taking as investors looked to square off their positions ahead of the weekend and in line with the sentiment on regional bourses.

The benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) moved between 1,625.10 and 1,646.74 throughout the day, before settling 18.55 points weaker at 1,634.19 from Thursday's close of 1,652.74.

Losers trounced gainers 612 to 279 with 274 counters unchanged, 524 untraded and 24 others suspended.

Volume increased to 1.98 billion shares worth RM2.80 billion, from Thursday's 1.63 billion shares valued at RM2.08 billion.

Regionally, Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 1.05% to 22,599.44 points, Singapore's Straits Times slid 0.41% to 2,822.59 and South Korea's Kospi dipped 0.91% to 1,984.43.

Earlier, Bank Negara Malaysia said the Malaysian economy expanded 4.3% in the third quarter (Q3) of this year, exceeding market expectation of 4.0%, compared with 4.0% recorded in the preceding quarter.

Despite the better Q3 economic growth driven mainly by domestic consumption and net exports, it did not boost the local equity market due to a weaker ringgit which currently stands at 4.3683, said Inter-Pacific Research Sdn Bhd's head Pong Teng Siew.

He said most investors remained cautious ahead of new policies by US President-elect Donald Trump, which was expected to be inflationary and would drive the US interest rate higher.

"Taking a view that Asian countries are not going to benefit from the new Trump policies, markets in Asia are all down and this will drive investors away from the emerging markets," he told Bernama.

He said the volatility would keep the investors away from market and they would likely stay on the sidelines going forward.

Among actives, Borneo Oil fell one sen to 16 sen, RGB declined half-a-sen to 23 sen, AirAsia X decreased two sen to 42 sen, CIMB erased 13 sen to RM4.84 and Top Glove added 24 sen to RM5.24.

Of the heavyweights, Maybank slid 16 sen to RM7.80, TNB fell eight sen to RM14.20, Public Bank declined 14 sen to RM19.64, Petronas Chemicals eased five sen to RM6.81 and Sime Darby reduced four sen to RM8.20.

PetGas narrowed 14 sen to RM21.70 and Axiata dropped 13 sen to RM4.58.

On the scoreboard, the FBM Emas Index dipped 128.57 points to 11,504.25, FBMT100 Index decreased 127.97 points to 11,214.96 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index fell 91.89 points to 12,103.91.

The FBM 70 was 154.77 points lower at 13,350.15 and the FBM Ace slid 18.24 points to 4,964.59.

Sector-wise, the Industrial Index declined 17.67 points to 3,109.48, Finance Index eased 197.91 points to 14,283.13 but the Plantation Index climbed 26.13 points to 7,760.02.

Main Market turnover rose to 1.28 billion units worth RM2.70 billion from 1.11 billion units worth RM1.99 billion on Thursday.

The ACE Market volume increased to 260.74 million shares valued at RM31.71 million from 246.34 million shares valued at RM39.07 million.

Warrants swelled to 440.82 million units worth RM72.21 million from 272.95 million units worth RM58.87 million yesterday.

Consumer products accounted for 67.16 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products (253.48 million), construction (88.42 million), trade and services (559.00 million), technology (31.36 million), infrastructure (19.11 million), SPAC (36.58 million), finance (78.47 million), hotels (99,400), properties (79.63 million), plantations (39.44 million), mining (20,600), REITs (27.79 million) and closed/fund (14,600).

The physical price of gold as at 5pm stood at RM167.18 per gramme, down RM3.82 from RM171.00 at 5pm last yesterday. — Bernama