Bursa closes lower on profit taking, trade fears

 Publish date: Thu, 16 May 2019, 5:53 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia retreated to below the key 1,600 support level at close today and in ending lower, amid profit-taking, after yesterday’s gains and a revival of trade war fears.
The benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) was down 12.24 points to end the same as Tuesday’s close of 1,599.19, which was the lowest since September 2015, with most index component stocks in the red.
The index opened 2.21 points weaker at 1,609.22 this morning from Wednesday’s 1,611.43 and moved between a low of 1,599.19 and a high of 1,610.78 during the day.
Losers trounced gainers 520 to 259 with 348 counters unchanged, 784 untraded and 23 others suspended.
Turnover decreased to 2.03 billion shares worth RM1.71 billion from 2.55 billion shares valued at RM2.12 billion yesterday.
Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd head of research Pong Teng Siew said investors, especially those in retail, were in profit-taking mood and refused to make moves to buy.
“Most chose to sell and we had profit-taking after the nice bounce over the past two days,” he added.
He said Malaysia’s latest economic growth data released by Bank Negara Malaysia today had minimal impact on the equity market despite the 4.5 per cent growth recorded in the first quarter 2019.
“The sector that did best contributing to the gross domestic product (GDP) was agriculture and most others had slower growth.
“We know the palm oil segment is weak, and in norminal GDP terms, the contribution of agriculture output may not have been very good.That is why the market was not jumping with joy,” he told Bernama.
In addition, worries about US-China trade tensions continued to weigh on investor sentiment after President Donald Trump declared a national emergency over threats against US technology.
This comes amid the campaign against global ICT solutions provider, Huawei.
Among the heavyweights, Maybank declined five sen to RM8.96, Public Bank went down 22 sen to RM22.26 and Petronas Chemicals was down one sen to RM8.8, while Petronas Dagangan rose 12 sen to RM24.52.
Of the actively-traded stocks, newly-listed Leong Hup International settled unchanged at its offer price of RM1.10 with 215.4 million shares changing hands.
Vortex was up one sen to 28.5 sen and Lambo was one lower at 6.5 sen.
 - Bernama
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