Bursa opens marginally lower

BURSA Malaysia opened marginally lower today, tracking Wall Street which slipped for the third consecutive trading day as central banks’ rate hikes continued to weigh on sentiment.

Swiss National and Bank of England had increased their interest rates by 75 basis points (bps) and 50bps respectively, following the recent rate hike by the US Federal Reserve, dealers said.

At 9.03am, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) inched down 0.96 of-a-point to 1,438.20 from Thursday’s close of 1,439.16.

The benchmark index opened 0.05 of-a-point easier at 1,439.11.

However, the market breadth was slightly positive with gainers leading decliners 119 to 102, while 174 counters were unchanged, 2,003 untraded and nine others suspended.

Turnover stood at 76.16 million units worth RM37.42 million.

Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd said the FBM KLCI slipped after weaker sentiments triggered a selldown globally due to the Fed’s hawkish tone, adding that investors will continue to price in more aggressive interest rate hikes, going forward.

“We believe the local bourse is likely to stay cautious and remain on a downward bias. Meanwhile, investors may watch for Malaysia’s inflation rate to gauge the upcoming Overnight Policy Rate outlook by the Bank Negara Malaysia,” it said.

On commodities, it noted the crude oil price is likely to trade around US$90 over the near term, while the crude palm oil price hovered below RM3,800.

“We remain positive on the banking sector on the back of the interest rate upcycle environment, while the telco, solar-related, construction and building material-related sectors are expected to see some buying interest ahead of Budget 2023.

“Meanwhile, oil and gas stocks could perform in the near term as earnings have been steadily growing over the past quarters,” it added.

Among the heavyweights, Public Bank Bhd shed one sen to RM4.38, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd declined four sen to RM8.46 and IHH Healthcare Bhd slid five sen to RM5.95.

Malayan Banking Bhd improved one sen to RM8.72, while CIMB Group Holdings Bhd was flat at RM5.38.

Of the actives, Resintech Bhd and Cnergenz Bhd bagged two sen each to 56 sen and RM1.04 respectively, Resintech warrant edged up half-a-sen to 15 sen and Jentayu Sustainables Bhd added one sen to 55.5 sen, while China Automobile Parts Holdings Ltd was flat half-a-sen.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index ticked up 0.13 of-a-point to 10,293.68 and the FBM 70 perked 5.5 points to 12,559.8, while the FBM T100 Index lost 4.04 points to 10,028.21, the FBM Emas Shariah Index decreased 5.2 points to 10,353.02 and the FBM ACE gave up 20.52 points to 4,798.13.

Sector-wise, the Energy Index was 5.22 points better at 725.09, the Plantation Index climbed 6.05 points to 6,850.74, the Financial Services Index gained 11 points to 16,345.45 and the Industrial Products and Services Index edged up 0.33 of -a-point to 174.57. — Bernama / TMRpic