KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia slipped lower at the opening as heavyweight financial counters led the sell-off ahead of the widely anticipated speech by the US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell today and the G7 summit in France over the weekend.
On the local front, weak data on business activities in the domestic manufacturing sector had kept investors at bay for the time being, amid global uncertainties.
At 9.07am, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) shed 6.59 points to 1,595.88.
The market barometer opened 6.7 points lower at 1,595.77 compared with yesterday’s close of 1,602.47.
On the broader market, losers surpassed gainers 134 to 98, while 153 counters unchanged, 1,573 untraded and 13 others suspended.
Turnover stood at 76.65 million units worth RM51.21 million.
Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd said the key index managed to mount an overdue recovery yesterday, but the broad market conditions were still looking insipid with the broader market becoming mixed.
"Going into the final trading day of the week, we see further near term recovery for the index-linked stocks as they continue to adjust from its bout of oversold," it said.
The equity report also noted that market players are keeping a keen eye on interest rate announcements and trade developments.
Powell is expected to indicate whether the US central bank will continue to slash its interest rates talk as well as touch on the US-China trade dispute at the Jackson Hole symposium at Wyoming, later today.
The G7 leaders are also meeting over the weekend where discussions on international economic issues such as technology, trade, and the International Monetary Fund, are high on the agenda.
Financial heavyweight counters; Public Bank was down 32 sen to RM20.48, AMMB shed six sen to RM4.08, CIMB Group decline one sen to RM5.05, Hong Leong Bank decreased four sen to RM16.96 while Hong Leong Financial weakened 10 sen to RM16.54.
As for actives, Istone and Ekovest was flat at 16 sen and 80.5 sen, Sumatec and Jadi Imaging depletes half-a-sen to 2.5 sen and 5.5 sen respectively while AirAsiaX fell one sen to 18.5 sen.
The FBM Ace dropped 24.27 points to 4,623.37, the FBM 70 slipped 24.90 points to 14,111.05, the FBM Emas Index shed 38.80 points to 11,299.99, the FBM Emas Syariah Index depreciated 29.83 points to 11,840.12 and the FBMT 100 Index was 39.78 points lower at 11,124.71.
Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index weakened 69.27 points to 15,518.84, the Plantation Index contracted 22.67 points to 6,749.98, and the Industrial Products and Services Index was 0.28 of-a-point higher at 150.11.
The physical price of gold as at 9.30am stood at RM194.71 per gramme, down 25 sen from RM194.96 at 5pm yesterday. — Bernama