,KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia joined key Asian markets to start Monday on a cautious note on concerns about US bond yields, inflation and the resurgence in Covid-19 cases. At 9.37am, the FBM KLCI was down 2.36 points or 0.15% to 1,623.83. Turnover was 1.74 billion shares valued at RM717.29bil. There were 329 gainers, 400 losers and 403 counters unchanged. Asian stocks started the week mostly lower with investors fretting over bond yields and inflation as economic activity picks up. Turkey’s lira tumbled after the central-bank head was replaced, Bloomberg reported. US equity futures fluctuated. MSCI Inc.’s Asia Pacific gauge slipped as shares in Japan and South Korea declined, while Australia’s index climbed. TA Securities Research expects buying interest in the local market should sustain this week with selective nibbling in undervalued blue chips, gloves and selective oil and gas stocks. In its strategy report on Monday it said with a third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic spreading across Europe, due to the more contagious B.1.1.7 variant of the virus or better known as the UK variant, there is a high likelihood for momentum trades in glove stocks. Meanwhile, at Bursa last week, local institutions were net sellers at RM421.5mil and foreign funds at RM101.1mil but the selling again was well absorbed by local retail investors at RM522.6mil. Dataprep tumbled 18% or 45 sen to RM2.05 with 11.83 million shares done after the recent caution issued by Bursa Securities. Vitrox lost 14 sen to RM15.18 but KESM rose 12 sen to RM11.82. BAT and Gopeng fell 16 sen each to RM13.50 and RM1.12 on profit taking. IHH Healthcare, which has exposure to Turkey, fell 10 sen to RM5.38 after the slump in the lira. MAHB was down eight sen to RM6.56. Johore Tin, MFCB lost nine sen each to RM1.70 and RM7.06. G3, which hit limit-down last Friday, slipped 8.5 sen to 92.5 sen ahead of its bonus shares going ex on Tuesday. Profit taking also saw Genting falling eight sen to RM5.45 after the recent bound.
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