KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia ended lower today, bucking the trend of its regional peers after being dragged by negative investor sentiment following several announcements made on the local front, including Fitch Ratings’ move to revise the country’s outlook from “stable” to “negative”.
However, the government’s decision to extend the movement control order (MCO) period to April 28 is seen as the right step among investors in ensuring the country’s ability to break the chain of the Covid-19 infection while speeding up the economic recovery process.
At 5pm, key index FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) fell 12.26 points or 0.89% to 1,357.50 from 1,369.76 at Thursday’s close.
The index opened 8.14 points lower at 1,361.62 and moved between 1,354.28 and 1,362.16 throughout the day.
Market breadth stayed negative with losers trumping gainers 689 to 207, while 294 counters were unchanged, 729 untraded and 33 others suspended.
Turnover decreased to 3.72 billion shares worth RM1.67 billion from 4.71 billion shares worth RM2.25 billion yesterday.
The financial services index were badly hit today, contracting 196.21 points or 1.573% to 12,278.91.
According to a note by Maybank Investment Bank, Fitch Ratings had reaffirmed Malaysia’s rating at A- but revised its outlook to “negative” from “stable”.
It said the agency opined that the economic impact from the Covid-19 pandemic is likely to be significant, and that there is a high level of uncertainty in terms of the growth outlook and public finances, given the downside risks to revenue and a higher need for fiscal spending to cushion the economic fallout.
Meanwhile, Bank Islam chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the decision by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies to cut oil production by 10 million barrels per day is seen to be less than optimum.
“There are other moving parts in the equation such as non-OPEC members to really take part in the move to rebalance the crude oil market.
“The market is likely to be in a glut as global demand is not going to be forthcoming. We could see retracement in oil and gas-related stocks,” he told Bernama.
At press time, Benchmark Brent crude oil was traded at US$31.48, down by 4.14%.
However, Mohd Afzanizam said the move by the United States Federal Reserves to provide a cash injection of up to US$2.3 trillion to the financial system are likely to help the smooth functioning of the credit markets.
Of the heavyweights, Maybank fell one sen to RM7.50, Tenaga and Public Bank were flat at 12.04 and RM15.88, respectively, while Sime Darby Plantation was two sen higher at RM4.97.
Meanwhile, the lower oil price affected oil and gas-linked companies, as Hibiscus Petroleum lost three sen to 49.5 sen, Bumi Armada shed 1.5 sen to 17 sen while Sapura Energy and Velesto both lost one sen each to 10 sen and 16 sen, respectively.
On the index board, the FBM Emas Index depreciated 77.86 points to 9,392.05, the FBMT 100 Index decreased 72.14 points to 9,288.66 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index fell 40.97 points to 10,363.11.
The FBM 70 slipped 36.68 points to 11,014.75 and the FBM ACE contracted 162.67 points to 4,017.03.
Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index lost 196.21 points to 12,278.91, the Industrial Products and Services Index inched down 0.94 of-a-point to 109.50 and the Plantation Index was 36.20 points lower at 6,247.65.
Main Market volume narrowed to 2.99 billion shares valued at RM1.57 billion from 3.42 billion shares valued at RM2.03 billion recorded on Thursday.
Warrants turnover decreased to 173.51 million units worth RM151.80 million from 399.12 million units worth RM90.73 million yesterday.
Volume on the ACE Market depreciated to 559.85 million shares valued at RM85.97 million from 890.33 million shares valued at RM124.71 million.
Consumer products and services accounted for 402.61 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (413.12 million), construction (269.38 million), technology (388.44 million), SPAC (nil), financial services (30.59 million), property (158.76 million), plantations (58.41 million), REITs (9.42 million), closed/fund (49,800), energy (1.08 billion), healthcare (20.30 million), telecommunications and media (49.85 million), transportation and logistics (67.55 million), and utilities (39.55 million). - Bernama