Bursa higher amid cautious market sentiment

KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI ended higher on Tuesday but the broader market was weak as profit-takers triumphed over bargain-hunters.

At 5pm, the 30-stock index was up 3.04 points, or 0.19% to 1,623.96 after moving between 1,625.52 and 1,617.92 throughout the day. The index opened 2.88 points higher at 1,623.80 this morning.

Market breadth turned negative as losers overpowered the gainers on a ratio of 457-to-724 stocks. Traded volumes stood at 11.87 billion shares valued at RM5.56bil.

Dealers said the local bourse traded sideways today on lack of market drivers amid the absence of positive local leads. They added that investors will be closely watching the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) meeting and other key central bank meetings in the days ahead.

Top gainers on Bursa Malaysia include Toyo Ventures, which added 65 sen to RM3.15, F&N rose 56 sen to RM31.54, Heineken gained 54 sen to RM26.40 and MPI climbed 44 sen to RM36.70.

The decliners included Nestle, Hong Leong Financial Group (HLFG), Dataprep, KESM and Petronas Dagangan (PetDag).

Nestle fell RM1.40 to RM135.70, HLFG shed 56 sen to RM17.40, Dataprep declined 44 sen to RM3.35, KESM lost 38 sen to RM11.82 and PetDag fell 36 sen to RM20.30.

Among the heavyweights, Maybank declined three sen to RM8.45, Tenaga jumped 14 sen to RM10.80, Public Bank fell one sen to RM4.31 and IHH Healthcare added three sen to RM5.23.

Meanwhile, oil prices dropped on Tuesday, extending declines to three consecutive days. Brent was last traded at US$68.32 per barrel, down 56 sen while US WTI fell 53 cents to US$64.86 a barrel.

On the external front, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.72%.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Nikkei share average gained 0.52% to 29,921.09 while South Korea’s Kospi rose 21.46 points, or 0.70%, to 3,067.17.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.67% to 29,027.69.

China’s CSI300 index was up 0.87% to 5,079.36 and the Shanghai Composite index closed up 0.78% at 3,446.73.

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