KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia started Friday on a cautious note in the absence of strong buying catalysts from funds while glove makers managed to stage a rebound amid the spreading Covid-19 pandemic.
At 9.20am, the KLCI was down 1.71 points or 0.11% to 1,576.62. Turnover was 650.94 million shares valued at RM371.72mil. The broader market was mixed with 274 gainers, 266 losers and 361 counters unchanged.
Asian stocks opened slightly higher after US indexes gained on positive economic data. The dollar held losses, Bloomberg reported.
Shares edged up in Japan, South Korea and Australia. U.S. contracts were in the green after rallies in U.S. benchmarks overnight, which included a fresh record for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Treasuries held steady, with the 10-year yield hovering at 1.57%, well below recent highs.
Investors will be watching for weakness at China’s open, after Bloomberg News reported the Biden administration is likely to preserve limits on U.S. investments in certain Chinese companies.
However, crude oil prices fell due to worries about rising COVID-19 infections in India and elsewhere although prices retained some support from a report a day earlier that U.S. crude inventories fell more sharply than expected.
Brent crude oil settled lower by 87 cents, or 1.3%, at US$68.09 a barrel. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) U.S. crude futures dropped 92 cents, or 1.4%, to $64.71.
At Bursa on Thursday, local funds were net sellers at RM105.1mil and foreign funds at RM38.3mil but local retail investors remained net buyers at RM143.4mil.
Rakuten Trade expects the local market to remain in consolidation mode due to lack of catalysts and expects the KLCI to hover in the range of 1,575 to 1,585.
MPI fell 22 sen to RM38.12, Time dotcom 12 sen to RM13.66, Hong Leong Bank 10 sen to RM17.50 and Petronas Dagangan eight sen to RM15.60.
Dataprep shed six sen to RM1.90 and Trans Ocean five sen to RM6.25.
Widetech continued its rally in the absence of strong positive news, up 49c to RM2.15.