KUALA LUMPUR,. Bursa Malaysia opened marginally higher but retreated thereafter, taking its cue from the weaker global markets after the United States Federal Open Market Committee reiterated its hawkish stance in its latest meeting minutes.
Dealers said the meeting highlighted officials’ willingness to aggressively raise interest rates to combat inflation, with several participants preferring a sharper 0.5 percentage-point increase were it not for the uncertainty caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
At 9.05am, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) was 2.32 points lower at 1,602.40 from Wednesday’s close of 1,604.72.
The barometer index opened 0.79 of-a-point better at 1,605.51.
On the broader market, losers led gainers 226 to 120, while 230 counters were unchanged, 1,660 untraded and 16 others suspended.
Total turnover stood at 124.98 million worth RM66.11 million.
In a note, Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd said given the negative Wall Street overnight performance, some profit-taking activities are expected to emerge on the local front, especially among the technology stocks.
On another note, the brokerage firm said crude oil price had declined to around US$101 per barrel after the International Energy Agency members agreed to release oil from their emergency reserves, while crude palm oil futures (FCPO) continued to hold above RM5,900 per tonne.
“We might see a pullback in the oil and gas (O&G) sector following the retracement in oil price, and traders might avoid technology stocks in view of the more hawkish environment going forward.
“Nevertheless, we expect the recovery-themed sectors to remain positive amidst the recovery in economic activities following the reopening of borders,” it said, adding that traders might also look into the construction and building materials sectors, positioning themselves ahead of the general election.
Among the heavyweights, Maybank shed four sen to RM8.85, Public Bank eased one sen to RM4.70 and CIMB Group slipped three sen to RM5.28.
Petronas Chemicals rose 11 sen at RM10.10 and IHH Healthcare gained six sen to RM6.45.
Of the actives, Dagang Nexchange shed two sen to RM1.08, Tanco and MBSB edged up half-a-sen to 40.5 sen and 64.5 sen, respectively, while both Techna-X and TWL were flat at 8.5 sen each.
On the index board, FBMT 100 Index reduced by 21.39 points to 11,180.22, FBM Emas Index was 23.17 points lower at 11,526.87, and FBM Emas Shariah Index gave up 23.12 points to 12,176.29.
FBM 70 fell 47.89 points to 14,033.76 and FBM ACE shed 26.15 points to 5,844.13.
Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index slipped 37.73 points to 16,758.02 and the Plantation Index lost 16.87 points to 8,300.67, while the Industrial Products and Services Index edged up 0.20 of-a-point to 211.83. — Bernama