Bursa opens lower on weak buying sentiment

Bursa opens lower on weak buying sentiment

KUALA LUMPUR,. Bursa Malaysia opened lower today with most indices in the negative zone due to weaker buying sentiment as Wall Street tumbled after the US Federal Reserve (Fed) hiked rates by 75 basis points (bps) and hinted of more smaller increases to follow as it continues to fight inflation.

At 9.06am, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) fell 4.96 points to 1,446.65 from Wednesday’s close of 1,451.61.

The market bellwether opened 3.29 points lower at 1,448.32.

On the broader market, losers led gainers 209 to 77, while 215 counters were unchanged, 1,824 untraded, and nine others suspended.

Turnover stood at 177.37 million units worth RM47.95 million.

Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd vice-president of equity research Thong Pak Leng said the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 505 points with the Nasdaq declining by 366 points while the US 10-year yield inched higher to almost the 4.1 per cent level.

On the local bourse, the FBM KLCI rebounded above the 1,450 mark at yesterday’s closing supported by buying in the plantation and related telecommunications companies counters.

Nonetheless, he anticipated some headwinds in the local market as investors have their eyes on Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) move on interest rates later today.

“Therefore, we expect the index to hover at the 1,440-1,460 range today as sentiment is seen as cautious.

“While many expect BNM to impose a 25 bps increase, we reckon technology stocks to be high on the selling list as regional markets may be dragged into negative territory today,” he told Bernama.

MIDF Research in a note today said after the November 2022 Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, the Fed announced another large 75 bps hike, pushing the Fed funds rate higher to 3.75-4.00 per cent.

This marks the fourth back-to-back 75 bps increase since June 2022, as widely anticipated by market consensus, as inflation remained elevated and above the Fed’s two per cent longer-term target on the back of a still strong labour market.

“The FOMC also reiterated its commitment towards the balance sheet reduction plan as issued in May 2022. As of last week, the Fed’s balance sheet dropped to US$8.72 trillion, a cumulative reduction of US$242.4 billion from the highest level in mid-April 2022,” it said.

Among Bursa Malaysia heavyweights, Maybank, Digi and IOI Corporation were all flat at RM8.54, RM3.81 and RM3.99, respectively.

Both Public Bank and Maxis fell 2.0 sen each to RM4.43 and RM3.84, respectively, while CIMB rose 1.0 sen to RM5.50.

Among the actives, Ta Win, Dolphin and Bina Puri were half-a-sen lower at 8.5 sen, 2.5 sen and 2.5 sen, respectively, while Advance Synergy and Citaglobal were unchanged at 7.0 sen and 27.5 sen, respectively.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index slipped 34.64 points to 10,262.80, the FBM 70 slid 41.63 points to 12,159.22, and the FBMT 100 Index lost 34.29 points to 9,996.56.

The FBM Emas Shariah Index lost 47.07 points to 10,320.60, while the FBM ACE declined by 40.06 points to 4,913.78.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index eased 1.39 points to 16,324.70, the Industrial Products and Services Index edged down 0.87 of-a-point to 173.95, and the Plantation Index slipped 50.44 points to 6,786.25.

The Energy Index was 0.34 of-a-point firmer at 710.67. — Bernama

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