Bursa higher in early trade, retreats thereafter

BURSA Malaysia opened higher today but retreated thereafter, taking the cue from the release of the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) Beige Book which indicated that economic activities may slow down amid deflating inflationary pressure, said an analyst. 

At 9.06 am, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) eased 0.10 of a point to 1,424.97 from Wednesday’s close of 1,425.07.

The barometer index opened 3.57 points firmer at 1,428.64.

Market breadth was negative with decliners led gainers 147 versus 107, while 202 counters were unchanged, 1,843 untraded and 18 others suspended.

Turnover stood at 141.39 million units worth RM63.58 million.

According to an international news report, the Beige Book data shows that the United States (US) economy stalled in recent weeks, with hiring and inflation slowing, and access to credit narrowing.

Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd equity research vice-president Thong Pak Leng told Bernama that the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined by 80 points while the Nasdaq was flat as the US 10-year yield inched slightly higher to above 3.59 per cent.

Back home, he reckoned another lacklustre day for the local bourse though some bargain-hunting activities may emerge.

“We expect sentiment to stay dampened by the highly anticipated 25 basis points rate hike by the Fed during the next Federal Open Market Committee meeting, thus the index will likely hover within 1,420-1,430 today,” he added. 

Among the heavyweights, Maybank was flat at RM8.69, while Public Bank, Petronas Chemicals and CIMB eased two sen each to RM3.95, RM7.19 and RM5.20 and CelcomDigi lost three sen to RM4.40.

As for the actives, Salutica shed 21.5 sen to 94.5 sen, MY E.G slid one sen to 81 sen, while Revenue Group added 2.5 sen to 42.5 sen, Tanco rose half sen to 47.5 sen and Zen Tech was unchanged at 2.5 sen. 

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index trimmed 6.18 points to 10,469.62, the FBMT 100 Index shed 5.89 points to 10,154.12, the FBM Emas Shariah Index dropped 0.72 of a point to 10,805.61, the FBM 70 index fell 29.22 points to 13,661.90, while the FBM ACE Index was 3.20 points higher at 5,355.79.

Sector-wise, the Industrial Products and Services Index decreased by 0.11 of a point to 172.26, the Financial Services Index declined 2.87 points to 15,687.71 while the Plantation Index went up 18.21 points to 6,869.93.