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Biogen scraps Alzheimer drug trials, wiping US$17b off its market value

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BoE warns on further Brexit ‘cliff-edge uncertainties’

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Norway hikes interest rate, bucking global trend

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Bursa Malaysia ends at intra-day low, the 2nd time in a week

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia bucked the positive trend in most of its Asian peers to end at its intra-day low today, the second time for this week, no thanks to the persistent profit-taking and risk-off mood ahead of the release of February’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) data tomorrow.

A dealer said some investors had turned cautious ahead of the CPI data release, as recent news that predicted Malaysia was likely to see another low reading of 0.4% year-on-year (y-o-y) in February had made them feel uneasy.

At 5pm, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) lost 20.55 points, or 1.22%, to 1,663.66 from Wednesday’s close of 1,684.21.

After opening 3.43 points firmer at 1,687.64, the market bellwether moved between 1,663.66 and 1,689.61 throughout the day.

The dealer said investors were anxious about the CPI data as the country had just seen its January CPI data fall 0.7% y-o-y, the first deflation since 2009.

“We see profit-taking activities still prevailed as market players unwound their recent positions, but unlike most of the Asian markets, news of the dovish tone of the US Federal Reserve over the interest rate hikes failed to support Bursa Malaysia’s performance until the end of the day,“ he added.

Regionally, Singapore’s Straits Times Index advanced 0.19% to 3,213.65, China’s Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.35% to 3,101.46 and South Korea’s Kospi Composite Index increased 0.36% to 2,184.88.

Japan’s market is closed for holiday today while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.85% to 29,071.56.

On the scoreboard, market breadth was negative with losers overtaking gainers 547 to 302, while 409 counters remained unchanged, 634 were untraded and 20 others were suspended.

Volume advanced to 2.96 billion units valued at RM2.15 billion compared with 2.58 billion units worth RM1.82 billion on Wednesday.

Of the heavyweights, Maybank lost seven sen to RM9.40, Tenaga retreated 14 sen to RM12.88, Petronas Chemicals was 10 sen lower at RM9.04, while CIMB and IHH shed six sen each to RM5.33 and RM5.79 respectively.

Nestle continued to lead the losers list by sinking RM2.20 to RM145.50, followed by four other KLCI-linked counters — Public Bank shrank 60 sen to RM23.86, PPB and KLK erased 50 sen each to RM17.82 and RM24.48, and Hong Leong Bank declined 46 sen to RM20.34.

Among the most active, Sapura Engergy and its warrant added one sen each to 35 sen and 14.5 sen respectively, Dynaciate ticked up half-a-sen to 10 sen, Perdana Petroleum trimmed one sen to 42 sen while Sino Hua-An was flat at 25.5 sen.

The FBM Emas Index dipped 105.75 points to 11,654.51, the FBMT 100 declined 105.92 points to 11,508.12, the FBM Emas Syariah Index was 78.48 points weaker at 11,709.81, the FBM Ace Index declined 21.57 points to 4,779.33 while the FBM 70 advanced 17.29 points to 14,182.84.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index tanked 225.12 points to 17,219.51, while the Plantation Index retreated 95.40 points to 7,208.74 and the Industrial Products and Services Index edged down 1.23 points to 168.72.

Main Market volume widened to 2.11 billion shares worth RM1.95 billion versus 1.74 billion shares worth RM1.64 billion on Wednesday.

Warrants advanced to 584.81 million units valued at RM127.72 million compared with 475.70 million units valued at RM106.15 million.

Volume on the ACE Market narrowed to 267.35 million shares worth RM64.37 million versus 363.57 million shares worth RM72.72 million.

Consumer products and services accounted for 214.80 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (641.28 million), construction (128.77 million), technology (102.70 million), SPAC (nil), financial services (65.87 million), property (112.93 million), plantation (43.47 million), REITs (14.78 million), closed/fund (600), energy (647.10 million), healthcare (30.90 million), telecommunications and media (37.96 million), transportation and logistics (51.60 million), and utilities (19.67 million).

The physical price of gold as at 5pm stood at RM166.46 per gramme, up RM1.59 from RM164.87 at 5pm yesterday. — Bernama

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