Bursa Malaysia edges lower in early trade amidst mixed sentiment


KUALA LUMPUR,. Bursa Malaysia was marginally lower in the early trade today, as concerns over the local daily Covid-19 cases which reached a record high for the second day in a row yesterday continued to weigh on risk appetites.

However, the positive sentiment on several states’ transition from Phase Two to Phase Three of the National Recovery Plan (NRP), coupled with the positive overnight gains on Wall Street helped to cushion the downtrend.

At 9.05am, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) eased 0.65 of-a-point to 1,495.13 from yesterday’s close of 1,495.78.

The index opened 0.92 points easier at 1,494.86.

On the broader market, gainers surpassed losers 192 versus 122, while 262 counters were unchanged, 1,617 untraded and 11 others suspended.

Turnover stood at 213.75 million units worth RM90.38 million.

Malaysia recorded 20,596 new Covid-19 cases yesterday ― the highest daily total since the pandemic struck the country in February last year.

Yesterday, NRP Coordinating Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said the number of new Covid-19 cases with serious symptoms would be used as a new indicator for the states’ transition into phases three and four of the NRP.

He said the new key indicator would replace the Covid-19 new cases indicator, using as proxy new hospital admission cases for Covid-19 adapted for categories three, four and five.

Having achieved a vaccination rate of 40 per cent of the local adult population, he said the number of new Covid-19 cases had become less relevant, as most cases were asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic (categories one and two), effectively reducing the burden on the public health infrastructure.

Among the heavyweights, Petronas Chemicals trimmed three sen to RM7.97, Tenaga and CIMB shed two sen each to RM9.70 and RM4.53, respectively, while Maybank, Public Bank, and IHH were flat at RM8.04, RM3.96, and RM5.72, respectively.

Among the actives, Encorp gained 4.0 sen to 36.5 sen, YB Ventures rose 6.5 sen to 63 sen, while Focus, NWP and Vsolar were flat at 4.0 sen, 21 sen and 1.5 sen, respectively.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index was 3.24 points better at 10,983.98, the FBM ACE bagged 28.55 points to 7,200.87, the FBM 70 picked up 16.39 points to 14,573.39, and the FBM Emas Shariah Index added 0.86 of-a-point to 12,069.6.

However, the FBMT 100 Index slipped 0.33 of-a-point to 10,694.52.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index slid 0.85 of-a-point to 14,755.99, the Plantation Index gave up 1.95 points for 6,095.97, while the Industrial Products and Services Index added 0.13 of-a-point to 188.17. ― Bernama

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