Bursa closes broadly lower as 980 stocks in the red


KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia followed most key Asian markets to close in the red on Tuesday, trekking the overnight tech sell-off on the Wall Street, while declining counters totalled nearly 1,000 as the Movement Control order 3.0 takes effect on Wednesday across the nation.

At 5pm, the FBM KLCI was down 6.28 points or 0.4% to 1,577.64. Turnover was 5.51 billion shares valued at RM2.90bil. Decliners hammered advancers nearly five to one or 980 losers to 199 gainers and 360 counters unchanged.

Despite the firmer GDP data for 1Q, the mood of investors remained cautious due to the MCO 3.0.

The economy contracted at a smaller pace of 0.5% as it extended its recovery from the 3.4% decline in the fourth quarter of last year.

Bank Negara Malaysia said the country remains on track to achieve the forecast Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of between 6% and 7.5% in 2021.

CGS-CIMB Equities Research estimates the return of a nationwide lockdown raises the estimated daily economic losses in Malaysia’s economy to RM300mil a day.

In its strategy report on Tuesday, it pointed out the MCO 3.0, which comes into effect on Wednesday nationwide, is much higher compared with RM200mil a day for a targeted MCO 3.0, and its baseline assumption of a conditional MCO (RM150mil a day).

The tech sell-off hit MPI, which fell RM2.36 to RM36.04, Vitrox 44 sen to RM14.52, Unisem 35 sen to RM7.12 and Greatec 33 sen to RM5.25.

Genetec and KESM lost 14 sen each to RM3.89 and RM11.86 while Frontken lost 13 sen to RM2.80.

Among the top losers of the day was TransOcean which skidded 13.6% or 74 sen to RM4.69 following the recent rally.

Among the banks, Hong Leong Bank fell 18 sen to RM17.40, HLFG 16 sen to RM16.70, RHB Bank five sen to RM5.11, CIMB three sen to RM4.10 while Public Bank was flat at RM4.10.

As for plantations, KL Kepong ended 24 sen lower at RM22.26, Sime Plantation lost 10 sen to RM4.67 while PPB Group was flat at RM18.72 but IOI Corp edged up two sen to RM4.12.

Among the glove makers, Hartalega fell 11 sen to RM9.47, Supermax was flat at RM4.63, Top Glove rose two sen to RM5.18, Adventa gained 20 sen to RM2.19 and Careplus seven sen to RM2.36.

Petronas Gas eight sen lower to RM15.72, Petronas Chemicals three to RM8.22 but Petronas Dagangan rose 16 sen to RM19.52 and Dialog four sen higher at RM3.05. Hengyuan lost 25 sen to RM5.61 while PetronM was 12 sen lower at RM4.61.

Reuters reported oil prices fell on fading fears of a prolonged outage of the largest US fuel pipeline system, while India's coronavirus crisis showed scant sign of easing, with a seven-day average of new cases at a record high.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 45 cents, or 0.69%, to $64.47 a barrel at 0654 GMT. Brent crude futures dropped 43 cents, or 0.63%, to $67.89 a barrel.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported European stocks retreated from all-time highs on Tuesday, with travel, retail and technology shares among the top losers after worries about rising U.S. inflation knocked back US indexes.

The pan-European STOXX 600 Index fell 1.9% and was on course for its biggest percentage decline in three weeks. The main bourses in Frankfurt, Paris and London all lost close to 2%.

Reuters reported Hong Kong stocks fell on Tuesday to a seven-week low, tracking an overnight tech sell-off on the Wall Street, while persistent anti-monopoly fears also weighed on tech giants listed in the Asian financial hub.

The Hang Seng index fell 2.0% to 28,013.81, lowest closing since March 25, while the China Enterprises Index lost 2.1% to 10,431.55 points.

In Tokyo, Japanese shares tumbled, dragged down by technology stocks, while domestic cyclical stocks also fell on concerns around the nation's worsening situation of the pandemic.

The Nikkei share average tumbled 3.08% to 28,608.59, its lowest closing level since March 24, while the broader Topix lost 2.37% to 1,905.92.

However, in Shanghai, China stocks ended firmer, underpinned by gains in consumer and healthcare firms, after data showed that factory-gate prices in the world's second-largest economy last month had reached the highest level since October 2017.

The blue-chip CSI300 index was up 0.6% at 5,023.06, snapping a four-day losing streak, while the Shanghai Composite Index firmed 0.4% to 3,441.85.

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