By Niam Seet Wei
KUALA LUMPUR, July 30 -- The latest political brouhaha, which saw the withdrawal of UMNO from Perikatan Nasional, along with the dissolution of the Sabah State Assembly to pave the way for a state election, sent Bursa Malaysia to close lower ahead of the Aidiladha celebration tomorrow.
At 5pm, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) fell 7.67 points, or 0.47 per cent, to 1,603.75 from 1,611.42 at Wednesday's close.
The key index opened 2.60 points higher at 1,614.02 and moved between 1,584.95 and 1,614.35 throughout the day.
Market breadth remained negative with losers thumping gainers 688 to 390, while 416 counters were unchanged, 503 untraded and 64 others suspended.
Trading volume widened to 11.91 billion units worth RM6.15 billion from 10.53 billion units worth RM6.95 billion yesterday.
Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd head of research Loui Low said the key index had been heading south after the mid-day trading break, with the latest political development being one of the main factors that dragged the bellweather lower.
Apart from that, he said financial counters, which accounted for six out of the 30 FBM KLCI counters, were also one of the laggards that pulled the composite index lower today.
"But I don't think it is due to the moratorium news, because if it were to impact the banking stocks, it should have happened yesterday, but the selling pressure only took place today.
"So, I think it is due to some profit-taking activities, or some shifts in funds there," he told Bernama, adding that profit-taking usually took place ahead of any long-weekend holiday.
Of the heavyweights, Public Bank, which is also the top loser across the board, fell 54 sen to RM17.00, Maybank reduced eight sen to RM7.67, Petronas Chemicals fell 10 sen to RM6.18, Top Glove eased 26 sen to RM25.88, and IHH was eight sen lower at RM5.40.
Other banking blue-chips in the red are CIMB, which slipped one sen to RM3.59 and Hong Leong Financial, which retreated 20 sen to RM13.44.
Among the actives, Lambo added one sen to five sen, XOX edged up half-a-sen to 26 sen, Pegasus improved one sen to three sen and its warrant gained half-a-sen to 1.5 sen, while Priceworth was unchanged at three sen.
On the index board, the FBM Emas Index contracted 55.37 points to 11,413.93, the FBMT 100 Index lost 53.91 points to 11,254.07 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index was 25.81 points weaker at 13,439.53.
The FBM 70 slid 69.76 points to 14,495.58 but the FBM ACE was 11.01 points higher at 8,534.88.
Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index dipped 171.0 points to 13,165.51, the Industrial Products and Services Index edged down 1.29 points to 141.13, while the Plantation Index advanced 7.10 points to 7,147.51.
Main Market volume increased to 6.01 billion shares worth RM4.03 billion compared with 4.27 billion shares worth RM4.35 billion on Wednesday.
Warrants turnover slipped to 849.17 million units valued at RM278.74 million from 1.08 billion units valued at RM455.26 million yesterday.
Volume on the ACE Market also contracted to 5.05 billion shares worth RM1.84 billion versus 5.17 billion shares worth RM2.13 billion the previous day.
Consumer products and services accounted for 863.00 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (1.68 billion), construction (196.41 million), technology (612.53 million), SPAC (nil), financial services (72.84 million), property (1.43 billion), plantations (69.19 million), REITs (12.37 million), closed/fund (76,500), energy (541.45 million), healthcare (112.76 million), telecommunications and media (69.27 million), transportation and logistics (309.76 million), and utilities (33.27 million).
Bursa Malaysia Bhd and its subsidiaries will be closed tomorrow for the Aidiladha holiday. Trading will resume on Monday.
Malaysia National News Agency
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