KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 14 – Investors on Bursa Malaysia turned to profit-taking even as early Asian markets rebounded on optimism after only slight declines on Wall Street overnight.
Despite growing fears over the collapse of the Turkish lira, the Dow Jones was down half a percent, while the S&P500 and Nasdaq lost 0.4% and 0.25% respectively.
Australia’s ASX200 was up 0.6% in the first hour of trade while Japan’s Nikkei moved up nearly 1%.
However, Bursa Malaysia headed for a slide in early trade as this latest turmoil gave investors an excuse to cash in on the five straight weeks of gains ended last Friday.
At 9.06am, the FBM KLCI was down 4.35 points to 1,778.99. Trading volume was 64.29 million shares valued at RM42.38mil. There were 115 gainers verus 98 decliners and 196 counters unchanged.
Among actively traded counters, Edaran which had jumped a stellar 57% yesterday, retraced half a sen to 71 sen.
Other stocks seeing healthy volume included KPJ, gaining three sen to RM1.09, and FoundPac, rising half a sen to 43 sen.
Top gainers in early trade were Litrak, rising RM1.34 to RM5.90, Hartalega adding seven sen to RM6.60 and MISC gaining six sen to RM6.20.
Tenaga Nasional, which was among the biggest losers on the KLCI yesterday, recovered six sen to RM15.62
IHH, however, continued to slip on its exposure to the falling lira via Turkey’s Acibadem healthcare chain, losing 10 sen to RM5.35.
Among other heavyweights, Public Bank lost six sen to RM24.32 and Axiata dropped six sen to RM4.37.
In oil markets, prices rose after a report from OPEC confirmed that top exporter Saudi Arabia had cut production to avert looming oversupply.
Brent crude oil futures were up 26 cents to US$72.87 a barrel while WTI crude futures were up 32 cents to US$67.52 a barrel.
In currencies, the Turkish lira continued its slide against the US dollar, falling half a percent to 6.9035 as at the time of writing.
The ringgit also pulled lower by 0.2% against the greenback at 4.0935.