Cautious start for Bursa after record high Covid cases

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia extended its decline early Monday as investor sentiment was dampened by the record high Covid-19 cases and dampening any optimism about the opening up of more economic sectors.

At 9.29am, the FBM KLCI was down 6.25 points or 0.41% to 1,517.19. Turnover was 866.62 million shares valued at RM436.68mil. There were 315 gainers, 282 losers and 373 counters unchanged.

On Sunday, there were 17,045 new Covid cases and raising the number of cases since the outbreak to 1.031,438 cases. There were 92 deaths and the numbers rose to 7,994 fatalities.

Most Asian stocks rose early Monday after U.S. shares rallied to an all-time high on corporate earnings, though traders are also mulling China’s technology-sector crackdown and an upcoming Federal Reserve meeting, Bloomberg reported.

Japan jumped after reopening from a two-day holiday, Australia edged up and South Korea fluctuated. Futures slid in Hong Kong, where an index offering exposure to China’s internet giants is the world’s worst-performing major tech gauge.

Beijing’s latest tightening is a reform of its US$100bil education tech sector, undermining one of China’s hottest investment plays in recent years, according to Bloomberg.

Oil edged higher after eking out a modest weekly gain as investors assessed the outlook for demand amid a resurgence in Covid-19.

Futures in New York traded above $72 a barrel after adding 0.4% last week, the first weekly advance in three.

Rakuten Trade said the KLCI, which saw some profit taking on Friday may continue to face more selling pressure on Monday as the country’s Covid-19 cases surged to a new daily high on Sunday.

"Hence, any hopes of an easing of prevailing lockdown may not occur anytime soon. We anticipate the index to trend within the 1,520-1,530 range today," it said.

Among the biggest decliners were Nestle, down RM1 to RM132.30 and Carlsberg, 36 sen to RM21.64.

Hong Leong Bank fell 24 sen to RM18.16, PPB 18 sen to RM18.18, KLK and Vitrox 14 sen each to RM19.52 and RM19.28.

Among the active stocks were SM Track, up 2.5 sen to 10.5 sen, PUC 1.5 sen to 17 sen and MAG one sen to 20.5 sen.

BAT rose the most, up 34 sen to RM14.76 on storng results, Genetec gained 24 sen to RM18.40, Fibon 18 sen to 73.5 sen, Jerasia 18 sen to 49 sen and KESM 12 sen to RM12.22.

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