BURSA MALAYSIA ENDS LOWER AFTER LIMIT DOWN IN MULTIPLE ASIAN MARKETS

FARHANA PONIMAN

KUALA LUMPUR, March 19 (Bernama) -- Bursa Malaysia ended lower, with the benchmark index 1.55 per cent lower, as weak regional sentiment continued to cloud the local market, especially after circuit breakers were set off in multiple Asian markets.

At the close, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia (FBM KLCI) fell 19.29 points to 1,219.72 from yesterday’s close of 1,239.01. The last time the FBM KLCI touched this level was in 2009.

After opening 11.30 points easier at 1,227.71 this morning, the benchmark index moved between 1,207.80 and 1,242.82 throughout the day.

Turnover increased to 4.16 billion shares worth RM2.86 billion from 3.48 billion shares worth RM2.88 billion yesterday.

Trading halts were triggered from Manila and Jakarta to Seoul and Karachi as worries over a potential global recession grips investors, despite efforts from global central banks and governments to stem a public health crisis by taking unprecedented measures.

In a note, Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd said amid the rising risk of recession, the downtrend on the FBM KLCI might linger for the time being.

“With market conditions likely to remain dour, we reckon the FBM KLCI will continue its downward momentum towards the 1,200 support level or even towards the 1,160 level.

“A recovery, which we see little sunshine may bring mild gains, capped at the 1,250 level,” it added.

Among heavyweights, Maybank lost 18 sen to RM7.08, Tenaga declined 10 sen to RM11.32, Public Bank fell 36 sen to RM12.66, and IHH was 35 sen higher at RM5.15.

Of the actives, Sapura Energy eased one sen to 6.5 sen, Velesto fell 1.5 sen to 9.5 sen and Bumi Armada inched down half-a-sen to 11.5 sen.

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