BURSA MALAYSIA ENDS LOWER DRAGGED BY LOSSES IN BANKING STOCKS

FARHANA PONIMAN

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 22 (Bernama) -- Bursa Malaysia ended lower today, dragged by losses in selected heavyweights led by banking stocks, with the local benchmark index declining by 0.59 per cent.

At 5 pm, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) fell 9.35 points to 1,577.98 from yesterday's close of 1,587.33.

After opening 2.69 points weaker at 1,584.64 this morning, the market bellwether moved between 1,576.90 and 1,595.38 throughout the day.

The overall market breadth on Bursa Malaysia was negative with losers outpacing gainers 509 to 397, while 362 counters remained unchanged, 718 were untraded and 38 others suspended. 

Turnover increased to 3.07 billion shares worth RM2.57 billion from 2.65 billion shares worth RM1.93 billion on Tuesday.

A dealer said Bank Negara Malaysia’s Monetary Policy Committee had decided to reduce the overnight policy rate (OPR) to 2.75 per cent from 3.0 per cent as a pre-emptive measure to secure improving growth trajectory amid price stability.

“While this is good news for domestic households, lower OPR will also translate into cheaper borrowing costs therefore affecting banks’ profitability,” he added.

Among the heavyweights on Bursa Malaysia, Maybank eased five sen to RM8.55, Public Bank declined 46 sen to RM19.02 and CIMB Group lost 10 sen to RM5.03.

Other heavyweights, Tenaga was flat at RM12.88 and Petronas Chemicals decreased three sen to RM6.96.

The most active counter was ACE Market debutant, Powerwell Holdings Bhd, which rose 3.5 sen to 28.5 sen, with 304.12 million shares traded.

As for other actives, Vortex eased half-a-sen to 8.5 sen and Supermax added nine sen to RM1.54.

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