KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia opened slightly higher on Friday with investors keeping their eyes open on the ongoing US-China trade talks, which ends today.
At 9.01am, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) gained 1.31points to 1,619.84, from Thursday’s close of 1,618.53.
The index opened 2.62 points easier at 1,615.91.
Gainers beat losers 133 to 58, with 121 counters unchanged, 1,598 untraded and 23 others suspended.
Turnover stood at 49.69 million shares worth RM19.58 million.
Unless there is a breakthrough in the critical negotiations, we see stocks on Bursa Malaysia remaining on the downside longer, no thanks to the US President Donald Trump who is set to hike tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25% later today, said Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd.
“As a result, the near term outlook is looking increasingly frail and this could further dampen market sentiments. Hence, we see the downside bias remaining in play and is likely to send stocks lower at the end of the trading week,” it said.
The research house said with the 1,620 level giving way, the key index could head to the recent low of 1,609 points and if it fails to hold, the FBM KLCI may retrace to the 1,600 level.
Yesterday, Asia benchmark indices extended their losses as sentiment was dented by the mounting concerns over the trade dispute between the US and China.
The Nikkei (-0.9%) trended lower for the third straight session while the Shanghai Composite (-1.5%) also extended its losses.
Among heavyweights, Maybank rose two sen to RM8.99, Tenaga added six sen to RM12, Public Bank was flat at RM22.28 while Petronas Chemicals was one sen weaker at RM8.89.
Of the actively-traded stocks, MQ Technology added half-a-sen to 4.5 sen, Metronic Global was flat at three sen and Ekovest was one sen higher at 88.5 sen.
The FBM Emas Index improved 20.34 points to 11,448.32, the FBMT 100 Index advanced 20.69 points to 11,278.45 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index recovered 14.25 points to 11,647.64.
The FBM 70 appreciated 72.84 points to 14,198.84 and the FBM Ace rose 11.24 points to 4,555.92.
Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index up 28.48 points to 16,628.38, the Plantation Index gained 6.23 points to 7,113.98 but the Industrial Products & Services Index was 0.09 of-a-point lower at 167.00.