Bursa Malaysia stays in negative territory at mid-day

Bursa Malaysia remained in negative territory at midday. — Picture by Razak Ghazali
Bursa Malaysia remained in negative territory at midday. — Picture by Razak Ghazali

KUALA LUMPUR, March 24 — Bursa Malaysia remained in negative territory at midday as concern over geopolitical tensions has led to a considerable rise in market risk aversion. 

At 12.30pm, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) lost 2.24 points to 1,595.64 from 1,597.88 at Wednesday’s close.

The key index opened 2.03 points easier at 1,595.85 and moved between 1,593.88 and 1,601.16 throughout the session.

On the broader market, losers led gainers 447 to 373, while 384 counters were unchanged, 1,098 untraded and 12 others suspended.

Total turnover stood at 1.68 billion worth RM1.03 billion.

Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the market shall see what would be the latest development in the European Union summit this week and military conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

He said the recent announcement by the Russian president to use roubles for settlement in natural gas transactions has resulted in a steep appreciation of the Russian currency against the US dollar and has sparked concern over the energy security in Europe.

“That could be the main stumbling block for the FBM KLCI to climb higher,” he said.

Mohd Afzanizam said it seems from the technical charts, the FBM KLCI is at the neutral zone and 1,600 points appears to be the psychological level for the index to surpass but it seems struggling to do so.

“At the moment, the index has pierced the previous resistance level located at 1,588 points and the next resistance level would be 1,623 points,” he said.

Among the heavyweights, Maybank added one sen to RM8.95, Petronas Chemicals and CIMB rose three sen each to RM9.62 and RM5.40, Public Bank was down one sen to RM4.64, while IHH Heatlhcare was flat at RM6.54.

Of the actives, CSH lost 1.5 sen to 15 sen, Pasukhas and LKL were flat at two sen and eight sen, and Focus Dynamics rose one sen to four sen.

On the index board, FBM 70 gained 22.16 points to 13,674.41, FBM ACE went up 8.96 points to 5,591.64, FBM Emas Index lost 5.14 points to 11,387.0, FBM Emas Shariah Index dropped 24.28 points to 11,981.80 and FBMT 100 Index reduced 7.73 points to 11,076.56.

Sector-wise, the Industrial Products and Services Index edged up 0.18 of-a-point to 204.12, the Financial Services Index rose 3.97 points to 16,752.79, while the Plantation Index declined 28.76 points to 8,019.64. — Bernama