KUALA LUMPUR: Share prices on Bursa Malaysia traded range-bound on Tuesday, with buying interest interspersed with profit-taking. At 5pm, the 30-stock index closed 2.73 points higher at 1,569.87 after hitting an intra-day high of 1,583.43. The local bourse opened 4.89 points higher at 1,572.03 this morning. Market breadth was negative with losers thumping gainers 677 to 485, while 466 counters were unchanged. Turnover stood at 12.72 million shares valued at RM6.36bil. Dealers said investors are in a wait-and-see approach in anticipation of Bank Negara’s overnight policy rate (OPR) decision. They expect trading on Bursa Malaysia to continue to be cautious. The central bank will hold the second Monetary Policy Committee Meeting for 2021 on March 4. It has maintained the OPR unchanged at 1.75% on Jan 20. Eleven out of 15 economists saw Bank Negara keeping its overnight policy rate at a record low of 1.75%, a Reuters poll showed on Tuesday, with four forecasting a 25 basis point cut. Meanwhile, the ringgit fell 0.02% to 4.0565 against the US dollar. The local currency was up 0.39% against the euro at 4.8695. It also rose 0.44% against the pound sterling at 5.6312 and 0.09% against the Singapore dollar at 3.0433. Top gainers on Bursa Malaysia included F&N which jumped 92 sen to RM30.88, MPI which expanded 90 sen to RM42 and Nestle which added 40 sen to RM136.40. Kobay, the top loser on Bursa Malaysia, fell 47 sen to RM3.78. Heineken declined 40 sen to RM25 and Muda lost RM31 sen to RM3. Among the banks, Maybank and Public Bank added two sen each to RM8.08 and RM4.22 respectively while CIMB rose six sen to RM4.28. On the external front, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipped 0.33%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index ended 0.86% lower at 29,408.17, while the broader Topix edged down 0.4% to 1,894.85. South Korea’s Kospi closed up 1.03% to 3,043.87 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1.21% to 29,095.86. China’s CSI300 fell 1.28% to 5,349.63 and Shanghai' Composite index was down 1.21% to 3,508.59.
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