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Shares end lower on Fed meeting, Feb CPI concerns
Published on: Thursday, March 21, 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia ended lower for a second consecutive day Wednesday, weighed down by concerns about the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, US-China’s trade talks as well as the February’s Consumer Price Index (CPI), to be released on Friday.

At 5pm, the benchmark index slid 3.47 points to end at 1,684.21 from Tuesday’s close of 1,687.68. 

The market bellwether opened 3.90 points lower at 1,683.78 and hovered between 1,680.29 and 1,687.06 throughout the day.

On the scoreboard, market breadth was negative with losers overtaking gainers 469 to 363, 374 counters remained unchanged, 681 were untraded and 20 others were suspended.

Volume retreated to 2.58 billion units worth RM1.82 billion from 2.89 billion units worth RM1.75 billion on Tuesday.

Capital Management Malaysia senior vice-president (investment) Datuk Dr Mohd Nazri Khan Adam Khan said investors were focusing on the FOMC meeting, to be concluded for leads on the US’ central bank decision on interest rates.

On China’s latest stance on the US key demands on intellectual property, he said the latest development on the trade talks could potentially scuttle any deal, similar to what had happened during the recent US-North Korea summit in Vietnam. 

“This week’s markets show a number of catalysts to note that could possibly drive volatility higher in the coming days,” he said in a middle week report here, Wednesday.

Many industry players had expressed worries over another low CPI data for February this year, as the country had just seen its January CPI data fell 0.7 per cent year-on-year, the first deflation since 2009.

Among heavyweights, Maybank reduced one sen to RM9.47, Public Bank was two sen weaker at RM24.46, Petronas Chemicals fell 11 sen to RM9.14, CIMB was eight sen lower at RM5.39 while IHH added one sen to RM5.85.

Of the actives, Sapura Energy trimmed half-a-sen to 34 sen while Jag bagged half-a-sen to 5.5 sen, Perdana Petroleum increased four sen to 43 sen, Dayang perked three sen to RM1.41 and FGV advanced 11 sen to RM1.23.

Commenting on FGV’s share price, Nazri Khan believed investors had reacted positively towards efforts made by the Pakatan Harapan government on FGV’s largest shareholder, the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda), recently.

“The efforts included the financial restructuring plan aimed at lowering Felda’s debt via asset monetisation, talent development and enhancing the terms of existing joint venture agreements,” he told Bernama.

Top loser on the local bourse was Tenaga, losing 18 sen to RM13.02, while Carlsberg remained as the top gainer, bagging 34 sen to RM25.64.

The FBM Emas Index went down 9.14 points to 11,760.26, the FBMT 100 declined 8.09 points to 11,614.04, the FBM Emas Shariah Index was 1.96 points easier at 11,788.29, the FBM Ace Index declined 18.92 points to 4,800.90 while the FBM 70 gained 54.64 points to 14,165.55.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index retreated 31.36 points to 17,44.63, the Industrial Products and Services Index edged down 0.63 of-a-point to 169.95, while the Plantation Index climbed 41.48 points to 7,304.14. 

Main Market volume shrank to 1.74 billion shares worth RM1.64 billion against 2.16 billion shares worth RM1.60 billion on Tuesday.

Warrants advanced to 475.70 million units valued at RM106.15 million against 342.39 million units valued at RM70.83 million.

Volume on the ACE Market narrowed to 363.57 million shares worth RM72.72 million from 383.74 million shares worth RM79.10 million.

Consumer products and services accounted for 233.06 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (303.49 million), construction (116.69 million), technology (102.84 million), SPAC (nil), financial services (46.12 million), property (162.06 million), plantation (63.70 million), REITs (8.03 million), closed/fund (nil), energy (567.63 million), healthcare (25.18 million), telecommunications and media (24.79 million), transportation and logistics (49.37 million), and utilities (41.08 million). – Bernama 



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