KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia erased yesterday’s gains amid cautious trading as investors await the outcome of the US-China trade discussions, which seem to have gone a tad quiet, coupled with the continuing unrest in Hong Kong.
The benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) closed below the 1,600 psychological level for the first time this month, at 1,597.22, down by 12.51 points from 1,609.73 recorded at 5pm yesterday.
The key index had opened slightly higher at 1,610.88 - also the day’s high - before falling as low as 1,593.91 during the day.
In the broader market, losers thumped gainers 589 against 287, with 375 counters unchanged, 750 untraded and 19 others suspended.
Volume narrowed to 2.14 billion shares worth RM1.74 billion from 2.49 billion shares worth RM1.82 billion yesterday.
Regionally, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng contracted 530.41 points or 1.96% to 26,534.87, Japan’s Nikkei depreciated 216.88 points or 0.92% to 23,303.13 and Singapore’s Straits Times Index was 19.40 points or 0.59% weaker at 3,248.40.
Phillip Capital Management senior vice-president (investment) Datuk Dr Nazri Khan Adam Khan said the market also witnessed a temporary profit-taking ahead of US Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell’s two separate testimonies scheduled tonight.
“On the fundamental front, the domestic labour market in September remained steady at 3.3% (jobless rate). The unemployment rate was unchanged for the fourth straight month as growth in labour forces, and employment rose at a similar pace.
“Besides, the industrial production was sustained in September despite a marked slowdown in the manufacturing sector. The manufacturing index growth softened to a 41-month low led by waning activities in export-oriented sub-sectors, mainly electrical and electronic products and petroleum products,” he said.
Among the heavyweights, Maybank declined 14 sen to RM8.65, Public Bank eased two sen to RM19.96 and CIMB was nine sen weaker at RM5.20.
This was after Bank Negara announced the extension of the maximum tenor of repurchase agreements to five years from 365 days.
The poor earnings posted by some big companies also dampened sentiment and kept the index in the red.
Petronas Chemicals was one of the top losers, falling 42 sen to RM7.38 after reporting a lower third-quarter net profit.
Of the actives, Thrive Property and Sapura Energy were flat at 1.5 sen and 29 sen respectively, while Netx Holdings shed half-a-sen to two sen.
The top gainers were Cycle & Carriage which improved 44 sen to RM2.11, Nestle which rose 30 sen to RM145.60, and Malaysian Pacific Industries which gained 22 sen to RM10.96.
The FBM Emas Index declined 68.65 points to 11,332.35, the FBMT 100 Index depreciated 67.35 points to 11,146.27, the FBM Emas Shariah Index decreased 58.87 points to 11,880.88, FBM 70 was 3.26 points weaker at 14,134.69, and FBM Ace fell 27.29 points to 4,856.21.
Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index gave up 101.97 points to 15,599.94, the Industrial Products & Services Index slipped 3.57 points to 152.81 and the Plantation Index narrowed 46.46 points to 6,922.23.
Main market volume fell to 1.28 billion shares worth RM1.54 billion from 1.7 billion shares worth RM1.63 billion.
Warrants turnover slipped to 320.06 million units valued at RM70.26 million from 329.30 million units valued at RM60.34 million.
Volume on the ACE Market grew to 541.40 million worth RM123.09 million from 456.54 million units worth RM125.23 million.
Consumer products and services accounted for 221.63 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (185.85 million), construction (72.75 million), technology (177.43 million), SPAC (nil), financial services (38.53 million), property (132.03 million), plantations (64.95 million), REITs (10.86 million), closed/fund (4,000), energy (291.70 million), healthcare (19.15 million), telecommunications and media (35.13 million), transportation and logistics (20.12 million), and utilities (9.92 million). - Bernama