KUALA LUMPUR: Share prices on Bursa Malaysia continued their downtrend to close lower, tracking Asian exchanges, a dealer said.
He said among the reasons cited for the bearish sentiment was the arrest of the global chief financial officer (CFO) of Chinese technology giant, Huawei in relation to alleged violations of United States sanctions.
The arrest could drive a wedge between China and the United States just days after President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping agreed to a temporary truce in their trade war to give the two sides more time for negotiations.
At 5pm, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) stood 4.93 points easier at 1,683.34 after opening 4.92 points weaker at 1,683.35.
The index moved within a narrow tranche of between 1,683.35 and 1,686.49 throughout the day.
On the broader market, losers trounced gainers 588 to 259, while 328 counters were unchanged, 694 untraded and 23 others were suspended.
Volume widened to 1.96 billion units, worth RM1.86 billion, against Thursday’s 1.75 billion units valued at RM1.52 billion.
Commenting on the arrest of Huawei CFO, OANDA Head of Trading APAC Stephen Innes said the news was quite significant as the US government was attempting to persuade allies to stop using Huawei equipment due to security fears.
“The risk sentiment continues to melt in Asia, which is having a far-reaching effect across global equities and currency markets. We saw technology stocks fall across the region and sentiment, in general, remain poor.
“This, and the uncertainly over the trade war has been the primary driver of sentiment,” he told Bernama.
But, clouding the Bursa Malaysia outlook also included the uncertainty over the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’s decision to cut oil production, he explained.
Innes said any cut that was perceived positive for oil prices would boost local sentiment.
“However, if the reduction is not sufficient enough or Russia walks away from the table then oil prices will fall, and this will be bad for the local bourse,” he added.
Among heavyweights, Maybank rose two sen to RM9.44, Petronas Chemicals added six sen to RM9.27, Public Bank was flat at RM24.88 but Tenaga fell 16 sen to RM13.76.
Of actives, Bumi Armada gained half-a-sen to 16 sen, Sapura Energy increased two sen to 35.5 sen, Hubline and Sanichi Technology were both flat at four sen and 17 sen, respectively.
The FBM Emas Shariah Index decreased 70.62 points to 11,615.26, the FBM 70 shed 102.01 points to 13,464.03 and FBM Ace Index was 14.02 points weaker at 4,729.80.
The FBM Emas Index depreciated 50.41 points to 11,603.30 and the FBMT 100 Index edged down 46.02 points to 11,482.92.
Sector-wise, the Plantation Index eased 67.54 points to 6,837.78, the Industrial Products and Services Index was 0.47 of-a-point weaker at 169.40 and the Financial Services Index lost 6.14 points to 17,451.67.
Main Market volume was up at 1.29 billion shares, valued at RM1.7 billion, from 1.27 billion shares, worth RM1.4 billion, recorded yesterday.
Warrants’ turnover rose to 477.70 million units, worth RM120.55 million, versus 306.05 million units, valued at RM81.96 million on Thursday.
Volume on the ACE Market increased to 196.76 million shares, worth RM37 million, compared with Thursday’s 170.32 million shares valued at RM36.67 million.
Consumer products and services accounted for 125.71 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (447.34 million), construction (61.79 million), technology (104.21 million), SPAC (5.11 million), financial services (31.27 million), property (73.77 million), plantations (34.95 million), REITs (5.64 million), closed/fund (0), energy (204.54 million), healthcare (24.67 million), telecommunication and media (81.24 million), transportation and logistics (68.70 million), and utilities (20.18 million).