Market closes lower at midday – Business News

KUALA LUMPUR: Share prices on Bursa Malaysia ended easier at midday in range-bound trading as investors took some profits off the table after yesterday’s strong gains. 

At 12.30 pm, the bellwether FBM KLCI ended 1.43 points lower at 1,788.43. The key index opened 0.48 of-a-point lower at 1,789.38.

On the broader market, losers edged gainers 383 to 340, while 376 counters were unchanged. Turnover stood at 1.57 billion shares worth RM735.49mil.

Hong Leong Investment Bank Research said trading activities may linger within small caps and lower liners. 

“On the local front, we believe the trading activities may remain active and robust on the back of the positive inflows of foreign funds and the buying momentum may lift the key index higher towards the resistance along 1,795. 

“Traders may look out for trading opportunities within the solid fundamental small caps and lower liners as trading volumes have seen increasing among them,” it added.

Overnight, the US markets advanced to record highs led by financial counters after Treasury yield rose, lower damage from Hurricane Irma and comments from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on tax reform. Earlier, European bourses climbed except the FTSE as UK’s inflation data weighed down on easing concerns on Hurricane Irma and North Korea. 

On Bursa Malaysia, Willowglen MSC Bhd shares tumbled 12 sen, or 8.63% to RM1.27 in active trade. Willowglen received a mandatory takeover offer (MTO) on Tuesday from New Advent Sdn Bhd, a company owned by the family of Willowglen group managing director Wong Ah Chiew.

New Advent has offered to buy the remaining 109.5 million shares or 45% stake in the company not owned by New Advent and the persons acting in concert (PACs) with it, for 80 sen per share or RM87.6mil.

Globetronics Tecnology was the top loser, falling 23 sen to RM6.34. Hartalega eased 22 sen to RM6.48 and Suiwah Corp closed 15 sen lower at RM2.85.

Laggards in the KLCI component stocks were led Genting Malaysia, which dragged the index down by 0.8803 points. Genting shares fell nine sen to RM5.81. 

Among the banks, Maybank fell two sen to RM9.68, Public Bank gained four sen to RM20.66, CIMB Group shed four sen to RM6.76 and Hong Leong Bank eased two sen to RM15.88.

Meanwhile, ringgit opened slightly higher on Wednesday against the US dollar and other major currencies today on renewed demand for the domestic unit.

The ringgit was quoted at  4.2010 to a dollar at midday. 

Regional markets closed mixed with Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average rose 0.55%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 closed 1.36% higher, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.29%, Shanghai Composite Index both ended 0.09% lower and South Korean’s Kospi rose 0.3%.

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