KUALA LUMPUR, March 23 (Bernama) -- Bursa Malaysia ended the day sharply lower following the continuous decline in global oil price, amid spiralling concern over rising fatalities associated with COVID-19 pandemic.
At the close, the main index; the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) was 43.40 points lower at 1,259.88 compared with Friday’s close of 1,303.28.
The key index was 53.78 points easier at 1,249.50 this morning with the benchmark index moving 33.80 points between 1,241.46 and 1,275.26 throughout the session.
From the overall indexes on the local bourse, the medium and small-sized capital stocks came under intense selling pressure throughout the trading day.
On the broader market, losers overtook gainers 772 to 161, while 217 counters were unchanged, 869 untraded and 17 suspended.
Turnover decreased to 2.80 billion shares worth RM2.31 billion compared with last Friday’s 5.05 billion shares worth RM4.04 billion.
According to an analyst, besides the top 30 companies under the KLCI index, the mid-sized cap stocks especially those linked to energy, construction, as well as the property saw intense and persistent selling pressure.
“Energy is worse affected due to the sharp decline of oil price, while property and construction sector relies on domestic demand which is heading towards an intense downtrend throughout the year due to economic slowdown,” she said.
Asked if a decision by the government in allowing Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) contributors to withdraw a portion of their contribution in the second account for personal use during this trying times would dampen the market as RM40 billion is estimated to exit the fund, she said, the move would stabilise the market.
“It would not be a bright road for the fund as well as the local bourse for now, but the measure taken is needed to put the money back into the people’s hand. However, if the situation prolongs, it would affect the contributors in the long term especially in terms of dividend,” she said.
The EPF is among the top institutional investor in Bursa, besides Pensions Trust Fund (KWAP), Khazanah and Permodalan Nasional Bhd which holds a significant portion of the heavyweight-related stocks as well as controlling or owned majority shares in many of the mid and small-sized cap stocks.
On the KLCI, Public Bank and Hartalega were the only two counters that ended in positive mode, gaining 20 sen and six sen each to RM12.70 and RM6.68.
Maybank lost 39 sen to RM7.12 while CIMB Group skidded 35 sen to RM3.29.
All Petronas related counters remained under pressure due to drastic decline in global oil price with Petronas Chemicals was 16 sen lower to RM4.27, MISC down four sen to RM7.40, Petronas Gas lost 42 sen to RM15.26 and Petronas Dagangan reduced 76 sen to RM19.24.
Of the actives, AirAsia Group topped the list after its co-founders, Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and Datuk Kamarudin Meranun were cleared from corruption allegations related to the Airbus scandal.
However, due to the current situation plaguing the transportation industry especially as airline companies grappled with COVID-19 related issues, its share price declined seven sen to 61 sen with 72.91 million shares traded.
On the index board, the FBM Emas Index contracted 341.16 points to 8,501.62, the FBM Emas Shariah Index narrowed 335.93 points to 9,328.20 and the FBM 70 gave up 535.26 points to 9,352.90.
The FBMT 100 Index eased 331.18 points to 8,458.11 and the FBM Ace depreciated 167.18 points to 3,351.94.
Sector-wise, the Industrial Products and Services Index inched down 4.62 points to 95.13, the Financial Services Index reduced 459.92 points to 11,361.59 and the Plantation Index was 206.93 points lower at 5,730.70.