KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 13): Bursa Malaysia ended the morning trading session lower today, with sellers broadly outpacing gainers as risk appetites were clouded by the weak market sentiment.

At lunch break, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) contracted 10.83 points to 1,565.14 from Friday’s close of 1,575.97.

After opening 2.19 points easier at 1,573.78, the index moved between 1,562.11 and 1,573.78 throughout the session.

In the broader market, losers overtook gainers at 666 versus 276, while 421 counters were unchanged, 895 untraded and 16 others suspended.

Turnover stood at 2.51 billion units worth RM1.29 billion.

At midday, 17 of the FBM KLCI’s top 30 component stocks were lower, while seven counters chalked up gains and six others were flat.

Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd said the local bourse continued to see buying support from foreign and retail investors on the back of brighter economic recovery prospects, driven by the positive developments in the National Recovery Plan and vaccination rate.

On commodities, it said crude oil price had retreated and closed above the US$72 per barrel level, while crude palm oil dropped below RM4,300 per tonne.

“Meanwhile, aluminium price remained elevated, surging above US$2,900 level as the market digested the predictions from the Harbor Aluminum Summit attendees that the supply shortage is unlikely to be alleviated in the short term,” it said in a note today.

As such, the research firm said steel and metal-related counters may continue to outperform.

“We believe technology will be decent to buy on dips for short-term trades, while investors may accumulate stocks in the recovery theme sectors such as banking, consumer, and tourism,” it added.

Among the market heavyweights, Malayan Banking Bhd increased by two sen to RM8.31, Public Bank Bhd gained two sen to RM4.04, while Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd and Maxis Bhd were flat at RM7.95 and RM4.66, respectively, while Tenaga Nasional Bhd eased four sen to RM10.26.

Of the actives, KNM Group Bhd decreased two sen to 28 sen, Pasukhas Group Bhd gained half-a-sen to 11.5 sen and PUC Bhd decreased one sen to 15 sen.

Top losers were Petronas Dagangan Bhd, which gave up 48 sen to RM19.52, as well as Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd and Batu Kawan Bhd, which slipped 40 sen each to RM134.30 and RM20.60, respectively.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index eased 72.26 points to 11,450.55, the FBMT 100 Index was 70.61 points lower at 11,141.71, and the FBM Emas Shariah Index dropped 80.29 points to 12,533.91.

The FBM 70 dropped 69.31 points to 14,974.8 and the FBM ACE shed 27.26 points to 7,227.84.

Sector wise, the Plantation Index shrank 67.5 points to 6,536.72, the Industrial Products and Services Index inched down 0.32 points to 200.58, and the Financial Services Index lost 54.85 points to 15,335.32.

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