Bursa Malaysia ends first day of 2019 in the red

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia ended the first trading day of 2019 in the red, dampened by poor market sentiment, due to several factors including disappointing Chinese economic data, a dealer said.

At 5pm, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) wrapped up the day 22.47 points or 1.33% weaker at 1,668.11 from Monday’s close of 1,690.58.

The market was closed on Tuesday for the New Year.

The barometer index moved between 1,666.07 and 1,694.10 throughout the day, after opening 2.93 points better at 1,693.51.

Total volume was slightly higher at 1.68 billion shares worth RM951.04 million from 1.57 billion shares worth RM1.33 billion.

Market breadth was negative with 532 losers outpacing 256 gainers, while 297 counters were unchanged, 772 untraded and 20 others suspended.

Public Investment Bank said Chinese factory activity shrank for the first time in over two years with the expectation of a more tougher outlook for 2019.

“China’s factory activity contracted for the first time in over two years in December, highlighting the challenges facing Beijing as it seeks to end a bruising trade war with Washington and reduce the risk of a sharper economic slowdown in 2019,” it said in a note earlier today.

The investment bank also said that the humming US factories ended 2018 on a sour note amid the trade war.

It said five Federal Reserve (Fed) indices of regional manufacturing slumped in December, the first time they have fallen since May 2016.

Additionally, the crude oil price was down by about 40% from a nearly four-year high in October.

The bearish tone in today’s trading was similar to the first trading day on Jan 2 last year, whereby the benchmark index fell 14.11 points to 1,782.70, dampened by profit-taking in blue chips and selected heavyweights.

Among heavyweights, Maybank fell 11 sen to RM9.39, Public Bank declined 10 sen to RM24.66, Tenaga shed 16 sen to RM13.44 while Petronas Chemicals was five sen weaker at RM9.24.

Of actives, My EG eased 2.5 sen to 95 sen, Prestariang inched down 2.5 sen to 43 sen, Datasonic rose 2.5 sen to 43 sen and Sumatec Resources was flat at one sen.

The FBM Emas Index fell 135.08 points to 11,392.43, the FBMT 100 Index decreased 136.40 points to 11,307.21 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index lost 179.47 points to 11,324.96.

The FBM Ace Index was 27.95 points lower at 4,289.54 and the FBM 70 was 90.14 points weaker at 12,985.05.

Sector-wise, the Industrial Products and Services Index edged down 1.05 point to 165.44, the Finance Index slid 111.52 points to 17,184.95 while the Plantation Index declined 138.87 points to 6,764.09.

Main Market volume fell to 1.12 billion shares worth RM824.05 million from 1.24 billion shares worth RM1.27 billion.

Warrants turnover rose to 358.33 million units valued at RM89.92 million versus 158.33 million units valued at RM35.02 million.

Volume on the ACE Market advanced to 176.06 million shares worth RM36.1 million compared with 162.11 million shares worth RM23.84 million.

Consumer products and services accounted for 153.91 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (176.22 million), construction (75.51 million), technology (171.92 million), SPAC (911,800), financial services (21.72 million), property (60.96 million), plantations (16.67 million), REITs (8.6 million), closed/fund (nil), energy (358.92 million), healthcare (10.16 million), telecommunications and media (22.76 million), transportation and logistics (39.94 million), and utilities (6.4 million).