Bursa Malaysia drops below 1,600 level at opening

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia opened sharply lower as local equities continue to be gripped by the escalating trade war between the US and China.

At 9.10am, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) declined 18.37 points to 1,592.04, after opening 17.57 points weaker at 1,592.84.

Overall market breadth remained negative as losers outpaced gainers 550 to 32, while 125 counters were unchanged, 1,180 untraded and 19 others suspended.

Turnover stood at 307.2 million units worth RM157.84 million.

Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd expects stocks on Bursa Malaysia would continue to head lower over the near-term as the market uncertainties were amplified.

It feared a prolonged trade tiff between the US and China will continue to keep market sentiments on the cautious side, sending more players to the sidelines until there was renewed clarity in the market’s direction.

The research house pegged the next support at 1,590 level and resistances were at 1,620 and 1,630, respectively.

On Monday, China retaliated by dropping the value of yuan further, fuelling speculation that Beijing purposely devalued its currency as a measure to counter Trump’s latest threat to slap more tariff against its goods entering the United States.

Among top losers on Bursa Malaysia, Fraser & Neave depreciated 84 sen to RM33.06, Nestle declined 80 sen to RM146.60, Hong Leong Bank trimmed 42 sen to RM17.24 and Carlsberg went down 36 sen to RM23.50.

For the heavyweight counters, TNB rose four sen to RM13.82, Maybank eased three sen to RM8.55, Public Bank depreciated 28 sen to RM21.28, Petronas Chemicals was five sen easier to RM7.18, IHH Healthcare shed two sen to RM5.66 and CIMB gave up four sen to RM4.99.

For the most active stocks, KNM slipped three sen to 33 sen, Sapura Energy slid one sen to 28 sen, Sumatec, Eduspec and Bumi Armada inched down half-a-sen each to three sen, 4.5 sen and 21 sen, respectively, while AirAsia decreased five sen to RM1.77.

The FBM Emas Index fell 153.51 points to 11,227.01, the FBM Ace shaved off 103.74 points to 4,482.31, the FBM 70 went down 254.74 points to 13,876.02, the FBMT 100 Index contracted 145.32 points to 11,070.57, and the FBM Emas Shariah Index depreciated 166.48 points to 11,627.15.

Sector-wise, the Plantation Index declined 97.94 points to 6,512.17, the Financial Services Index gave up 160.85 points for 15,661.18 and the Industrial Products and Services Index declined 2.16 point to 148.89. - Bernama