Bursa Malaysia trades cautiously higher ahead of expected Fed rate hike

  • Markets
  • Wednesday, 21 Mar 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia traded cautiously higher on Wednesday, with markets participants focusing on the Federal Reserve after it kicked off its March meeting.

The Fed kicked off its two-day meeting on Tuesday since the appointment of its new chair, Jerome Powell, and is expected to raise rates for the first time this year at the end of its meeting.

At midday, the FBM KLCI rose 5.34 points to 1,861.73 points. Turnover was at 1.251 billion shares valued at RM861.58mil. Broader market sentiment continued to be cautious with 383 gainers, 341 losers and 395 counters traded unchanged on the Bursa Malaysia.

Kenanga Research said chart-wise, outlook for the index remains seemingly weak despite today’s high note closing as key indicators continued to be indecisive coupled with below average trading volume.

“Expect sideways movement in the short term with support at 1,840 (S1), followed by a lower support at 1,800 (S2),” it added. 

Gains in the region took cues from the overnight move higher on Wall Street. 

Stocks in China and Hong Kong rallied on Wednesday, led by real estate firms, after developers posted stellar profits for 2017. The Shanghai Composite index was up 0.48% at 3,306.28, while China’s blue-chip CSI300 index was up 0.64% at 4,103.95. 

The Hang Seng Index climbed 1.21%, or 381.12 points, to 31,931.05 by the break while the South Korean’s Kospi  was up 2.22 points or 0.09% at 2,487.74.

On Bursa Malaysia, Nestle (M) Bhd rose RM5 to RM132.90 pushing the index up by 1.9322. F&N gained 80 sen to RM32.18 and Carlsberg added 26 sen to RM18.84.

Among other heavyweights, Maybank added two sen to RM10.36, while Public Bank lost two sen to RM23.50.

Shin Yang Shipping gained seven sen to 32 sen, while Panpages lost one sen to 28 sen.

Shin Yang Shipping, which has been buying back its own shares, surged 32%, its biggest move in over six years. The shares rose to 33 sen, its highest since June 2016 from 25 sen in the previous session. So far this year, it has gained some 47%.
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