More weakness on Bursa Malaysia as Omicron fears grow

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia showed further signs of weakness on Thursday, defying hopes for a rebound after the US announced it had detected its first case of the Omicron virus within its borders.

Wall Street indices, which had attempted an intra-day rebound made a major reversal to end sharply in the red. The Dow Jones was down 1.3%, S&P 500 fell 1.2% and Nasdaq slid 1.8%, marking a second day of an equities rout.

At 9.05am, the benchmark index was down 1.56 points to 1,495.37.

This follows from a negative performance yesterday as the FBM KLCI fell over 17 points on fears the US Federal Reserve will speed up the tapering of its bond-buying programme.

Meanwhile, Omicron fears continued to weigh as the Malaysian government took measures to prevent the new Covid mutation from entering the country.

"We believe volatility may remain on the local bourse, taking into account the government's decision to bar travellers from eight countries with cnfirmed cases of Covid-19 Omicron variant and tracking the negative performance on Wall Street," said Malacca Securities Research.

The research firm believes investors may take a further step back from the recovery-theme stocks, due to a potential spread of Omicron and a delay in recovery progress.

However, it said buying interest could be seen in the healthcare sector following the selldown.

THere was broad-based selling on the market again as investors quickly sold down 238 counters on Bursa while only buying up 97.

On the FBM KLCI, selling could be seen in Press Metal, down six sen to RM5.26, telcos, and plantations.

However, Petronas Chemicals bounced five sen higher to RM8.55 while IHH Healthcare was up 12 sen ot RM6.69.

Bank stocks were little changed as investors considered if the recent selling was overdone. Maybank however inched one sen lower to 7.94 while Hong Leong Bank added two sen to RM18.20.

Of actives, Impiana Hotels was up one sen to nine sen , TH Heavy Engineering dropped four ssen to 2.5 sen and China Ouhua Winery rose 1.5 sen to 11.5 sen.
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Bursa Malaysia , FBM KLCI , equities


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