PETALING JAYA: The FBM KLCI yesterday went into profit-taking activity amid mixed regional market performances weighing on investor sentiment.
It also seemed that investors chose to stay on the sidelines ahead of the United States’ Federal Open Market Committee meeting, which will decide on the next course of its monetary policy.
Only 14 constituent counters or less than half of the 30-stock FBM KLCI closed higher yesterday.
While the benchmark index went up and down throughout the day, it eventually closed marginally higher by 0.11 points or 0.01% at 1,575.27 points, thanks to last-minute buying.
In less than 10 minutes after the market opened for trading, the index fell to its intraday low of 1,570.45.
A day earlier, the FBM KLCI had closed at 1,575.16, up 18.83 points or 1.21%.
Across the broader Bursa Malaysia, the market breadth remained positive, as 626 gainers trumped 415 decliners.
A total of 423 counters remained unchanged.
Turnover was at 7.6 billion shares valued at RM4.71bil.
The Technology Index, which continued its uptrend, was the bourse’s top performer as it rose 4.4%. A day earlier, the index had risen 2.41%.
A trader told StarBiz that the subdued buying interest among investors was unsurprising.
“I believe investors are staying on the sidelines as they await the US Federal Reserve’s (Fed) next move on the interest rate.
“Similar sentiment can also be seen in the US and other regional markets. But overall, I think the market would likely continue its rally in the coming days, ” he said.
According to Swissquote Bank senior analyst Ipek Ozkardeskaya, the Fed is expected to maintain its interest rate and asset purchases policy unchanged at this month’s meeting.
“(It) would be important to investors if there is any shift in the Fed’s position after the latest jump in the jobs report, ” she said.
Ozkardeskaya added that a supportive policy stance from the Fed could give a renewed boost to the equity rally and send the US dollar to weaker levels.
“If, however the Fed shifts to a more orthodox tone, which we doubt, the equity rally would be dented, ” she said.
Across the Asian region yesterday, the benchmark indices of Hong Kong and China declined, while Japan’s and South Korea’s main stock market barometers rose.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was down 0.03%, at 25,049.73. China’s Shanghai Composite index was down 0.42% at 2,943.75.
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