Activity on Bursa was dominated by small caps seeing strong selling pressure
Bursa Malaysia tracked the performance of the major markets lower amid the escalating threat of the Covid-19 outbreak.
At the end of the morning session, 887 counters on the local stock exchange were in the red versus 134 in positive territory and 173 unchanged. Trading volume was 2.21 billion shares valued at RM1.42bil.
At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was down 20.06 points to 1,423.77. Twenty-seven of its 30 counters were on the slide.
The index’s top three heavyweights dragged, comprising Maybank down 10 sen to RM8.29, Tenaga Nasional falling 22 sen to RM12.40 and Public Bank skidding 32 sen to RM16.48.
The top actives list on Bursa was dominated by small caps seeing strong selling pressure.
Bumi Armada fell one sen to 17 sen, JAKS resouces dove 13 sen to 92 sen and Hibiscus Petroleum slid 2.5 sen to 41 sen.
Global equities were hammered down for a second time this week as the spread of Covid-19 prompted the World Health Organization to declare the outbreak a global pandemic.
Travel restrictions announced by the US that suspended travel from 26 European countries into the country triggered a sharp fall in Dow Jones futures, which had overnight slid an eye-watering 5% to leave the market firmly in bear territory.
Australia’s ASX200 meanwhile fell over 7% earlier in the day before retracing to a loss of about 5.5%.
Japan’s and South Korea’s benchmark indices were each down about 4.5%.
The threat of the pandemic on the global economy sent oil prices tumbling yet again. WTI crude dropped US$1.26 to US$31.72 a barrel and Brent crude shed US$1.45 to US$34.34 a barrel.
On the forex market, the ringgit was sold down 0.3% against the US dollar to 4.2500, 0.3% against the pound sterling to 5.4468 and was unchanged against the Singapore dollar at 3.0355.