Bursa sees subdued trading interest

The growing tensions between the US and China kept interest in risky assets subdued, leading to cautious trading on Bursa Malaysia. The FBM KLCI, which has been on a slide over the past week, was 0.69 points lower at 1,597.04 entering the lunch break, suggesting that the market was entering a consolidation phase. Amid falling trading activity, Malaysia’s key index has slipped below the 1,600 psychological support, signalling further weakness. The recent pull back in crude oil and crude palm oil prices has also diminished the recovery outlook, sending investors to the sidelines as they await fresh catalysts to emerge. Brent crude prices have been range-bound since a sharp tumble over a week ago. At the time of writing, the benchmark was 0.8% higher over the previous session at US$62.47 a barrel. “Given the subdued trading interest on the market, traders will be selective in looking out for trading opportunities,” said Malacca Securities Research, which expects further consolidation on the horizon. It also expects renewed interest in construction, building materials and property counters given the news flow over the Penang Transport Master Plan. An announcement over Gamuda’s new role as the developer in the Island A reclamation project sent its share price swinging wildly on Friday. The stock was seen traded in a wide price range of RM3.47 to RM4 before settling at RM3.54 at midday, 16 sen or 4.3% lower than in the previous session. Meanwhile, blue chips in the red included Hong Leong Financial Group down 22 sen to RM17.28, Petronas Dagangan falling 18 sen to RM30.12, Hartalega sliding 10 sen to RM9.53 and Petronas Chemicals shedding eight sen to RM7.97. Top actives were Matang up 1.5 sen to 12.5 sen, Widad adding 0.5 sen to 55 sen and Komarkcorp rising 4.5 sen to 36 sen. In Asian markets, Wall Street’s positive overnight performance help lift equities prices despite the ongoing geopolitical tensions. Japan’s Nikkei rose 1.6% and South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.6%. China’s composite index climbed 1.4% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 1.1%.

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