BURSA Malaysia snapped a three-day losing streak today despite the continuing uncertainty on the domestic political front as investors looked ahead to the US Federal Reserve’s meeting minutes, which could offer clues on further interest rate hikes by the United States.
At 5pm, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) added 2.21 points to end the day at its intra-day high of 1,443.5 compared with 1,441.29 yesterday.
The market bellwether, which opened 9.39 points weaker at 1,431.9 this morning, moved in a volatile pattern to as low as 1,431.61 as the market weighed the pending outcome of the selection of Malaysia’s 10th prime minister.
Gains in Press Metal, Sime Darby Plantation, Petronas Chemicals, and IHH Healthcare lifted the composite index by a combined 4.838 points.
On the broader market, gainers and decliners were almost equal at 389 to 382, while 417 counters were unchanged, 1,113 untraded, and 84 others suspended.
Turnover decreased sharply to 2.68 billion units worth RM1.63 billion versus 4.57 billion units worth RM2.11 billion on Tuesday.
Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd vice-president of equity research Thong Pak Leng said market participants stayed on the sidelines today as they awaited greater clarity on Malaysia’s political front.
“We reckon that the market sentiment will remain cautious over the next few days until there is more political clarity,” he told Bernama, projecting the FBM KLCI to continue to hover within the 1,430 and 1,450 range tomorrow.
The Malay rulers are set to hold a special meeting tomorrow at Istana Negara for Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah to seek the views of the rulers concerning the formation of a new federal government.
Meanwhile, caretaker Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the caretaker government under his leadership and the caretaker cabinet, consisting of lawmakers who contested in the 15th general election and won their seats, will continue to function.
He said a special parliament session would be held to table a budget so as to pay the salaries of civil servants before December 31 if a new government has not been formed by then.
Among heavyweight stocks on Bursa, Maybank added one sen to RM8.55, Petronas Chemicals earned eight sen to RM8.78 and IHH Healthcare rose seven sen to RM5.99. CIMB was flat at RM5.51.
Public Bank trimmed one sen to RM4.28, Tenaga shed two sen to RM8.42 while Hong Leong Bank lost eight sen to RM20.48.
As for the actives, Advance Synergy slipped half-a-sen to 17.5 sen, Eden gained 1.5 sen to 19 sen and Malayan United was flat at 10 sen. ACE Market debutant ECA Integrated soared 58.5 sen to finish at 75.5 sen with 144.45 million shares changing hands. – Bernama, November 23, 2022.