Bursa Malaysia opens lower amid interest rate hike concerns

BURSA Malaysia opened lower today due to the possibility of yet another interest rate hike by the US Federal Reserve during the next Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting in early May, said an analyst.

At 9.06am, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) dropped 2.46 points to 1,429.90 from Tuesday’s close of 1,432.36.

The barometer index opened 0.79 points weaker at 1,431.57.

Market breadth was negative with decliners surpassing gainers 141 versus 99, while 234 counters were unchanged, 1,824 untraded and 11 others suspended.

Turnover stood at 247.28 million units worth RM97.78 million.

Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd equity research VP Thong Pak Leng told Bernama that the Dow Jones Industrial (DJI) Average closed 10 points lower on Tuesday, while the Nasdaq was flat and the US Treasury 10-year yield eased to below the 3.58% level.

Back home, he said accumulation by foreign funds could be seen, however, it was not significant enough to make any major impact ahead of the long break for the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration.

“Thus, we reckon trading on the local bourse to remain dull and the index likely to remain stuck in consolidation mode and hover within the 1,430-1,440 range today,” he said.

Among the heavyweights, Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) gained one sen to RM8.71, while Public Bank Bhd eased two sen to RM3.96, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd was down by five sen to RM7.35, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd fell three sen to RM5.22 and CelcomDigi Bhd lost one sen to RM4.45.

As for the actives, Hong Seng was flat at 13 sen, Pharmaniaga added four sen to 41.5 sen, SNS Network improved half-a-sen to 28.5 sen and Vinvest Capital grew one sen to 20 sen, while Salutica shed 44 sen to RM1.21.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index slipped 20.74 points to 10,519.74, the FBMT 100 Index slid 21.80 points to 10,200.40 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index fell by 19.63 points to 10,870.26.

The FBM ACE Index was 7.55 points lower at 5,382.16 and the FBM 70 index shrank 47.05 points to 13,770.02.

Sector-wise, the Industrial Products and Services Index eased by 0.37 points to 174.02, the Plantation Index went down 5.91 points to 6,878.73 and the Financial Services Index declined 23.48 points to 15,707.98. — Bernama