Bursa Malaysia opens marginally lower

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia retreated from yesterday’s gains and opened marginally lower today as investors turned cautious in view of the strong US retail data, which might indicate potential interest rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve (Fed) going forward.

At 9.10 am, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) eased by 1.05 points to 1,48714 from Wednesday’s close of 1,488.19.

The key index opened 0.35 of-a-point weaker at 1,487.84.

Market breadth, however, was positive with gainers leading losers 177 to 158, while 258 counters were unchanged, 1,620 untraded and 16 others suspended.

Turnover amounted to 314.58 million units worth RM127.34 million.

In a note today, Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd said the United States stock markets closed higher as the Dow Jones Index rose 0.1 per cent, which was buoyed by the strong retail sales data that expanded 6.4 per cent year-on-year in January 2023.

“While Wall Street notched higher overnight, we believe global sentiment could remain shaky in view of the strong retail data, which might indicate potential interest rate hikes by the Fed going forward.

“However, closer to home, investors might be relatively positive prior to the earnings season and the re-tabling of Budget 2023 next week,” the brokerage said.

Commodities-wise, the firm said the Brent oil price stayed above US$85 per barrel, while the crude palm oil price hovered above RM3,900 per tonne.

On a sector focus, the technology sector may be in focus as the Nasdaq crossed above the key 12,000 level overnight.

“Besides, the banking, telecommunications, REIT and selected consumer stocks might be under the limelight amid persistent buying from foreign funds,” it added.

Among the heavyweights, Maybank lost 2.0 sen to RM8.78, and both Public Bank and Petronas Chemicals fell 1.0 sen each to RM4.17 and RM8.21. CIMB and Tenaga Nasional were flat at RM5.43 and RM9.95 respectively.

As for the actives, MYEG decreased 1.5 sen to 68 sen, Iris slid half-a-sen to 11.5 sen. Hong Seng added half-a-sen to 22 sen, Perdana Petroleum rose 1.0 sen to 19.5 sen while CSH Alliance was flat at 4.5 sen.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index decreased 7.89 points to 10,818.74, the FBMT 100 Index went down 8.44 points to 10,485.04, and the FBM Emas Shariah Index slipped 6.18 points to 11,167.19. and the FBM 70 Index weakened 15.57 points to 13,633.72. The FBM ACE Index was 9.12 points firmer at 5,719.96.

Sector-wise, the Plantation Index widened by 5.70 points to 6,908.60 and the Energy Index rose 0.53 of-a-point to 893.17. The Industrial Products and Services Index eased 0.44 of-a-point to 190.27, and the Financial Services Index slipped 23.14 points to 16,137.91. – Bernama