Bursa Malaysia opens marginally higher ahead of BNM OPR decision

BURSA Malaysia opened marginally higher today, ahead of Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) decision tomorrow.

At 9.21am, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) was 0.81 points higher at 1,393.30 compared to 1,392.49 at Tuesday’s close.

The key index opened 0.11 of-a-point lower at 1,392.38.

The broader market was positive with advancers beating decliners 192 to 164, while 249 counters were unchanged, 1,630 untraded and 18 others suspended.

Turnover stood at 327.7 million units worth RM129.37 million.

Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd equity research VP Thong Pak Leng expects market sentiments to remain cautious ahead of the OPR decision, although the BNM is projected to maintain the current rate.

“Thus, we expect the index to move within the 1,390-1,400 range today with possible interest in the financial and telco sectors,” he told Bernama.

Thong said raising the OPR will have a negative impact on the stock market as the cost of doing business will rise due to higher interest rates, while a lower OPR will indirectly help boost the stock market’s performance.

Meanwhile, in a note yesterday, OCBC Bank expects BNM to keep its OPR unchanged at 3% amid slowing growth momentum and easing inflationary pressures.

At the same time, Maybank Investment Bank Bhd expects another 25-basis point (bps) hike in the OPR, bringing it to 3.25%, premised on the revised federal funds rate (FFR) outlook as well as a worryingly weak ringgit.

In a research note yesterday, it said that based on the June projection, the FFR could reach 5.62% by year-end, implying two more rounds of 25bps increases.

“The potentially pivotal state elections in August followed by Budget 2024 means that the second half of 2023 will remain challenging in rebuilding market traction. Investors may be best-served positioning in defensive dividend stocks to at least lock in the yield return,” it added.

Among the heavyweights, Maybank and Public Bank added one sen each to RM8.71 and RM3.92 respectively, and CIMB eased two sen to RM5.18, while Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) and IHH Healthcare were flat at RM9.13 and RM5.83 respectively.

Of the actives, Parkson rose 2.5 sen to 21.5 sen, Ahmad Zaki went up half-a-sen to 25.5 sen and Naim Holdings gave up 1.5 sen to 87 sen, while BTM Resources and Tanco were flat at nine sen and 51.5 sen respectively.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index edged up 7.64 points to 10,266.46, the FBM T100 Index was 6.71 points higher at 9,962.51, the FBM ACE Index added 14.35 points to 5,109.22, the FBM 70 Index perked 13.20 points to 13,544.30, and the FBM Emas Shariah Index rose by 10 points to 10,540.38.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index strengthened by 17.22 points to 15,500.39, the Energy Index earned 3.25 points to 795.66, the Plantation Index gained 3.32 points to 6,833.06 and the Industrial Products and Services Index garnered 0.30 of-a-point to 159.10. — Bernama

  • This article first appeared in The Malaysian Reserve weekly print edition