KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian equities rose in early Wednesday trade amid an upbeat performance on Wall Street overnight and ahead of Bank Negara's interest rate decision later today.
At 9.05am, the FBM KLCI was up 3.91 points to 1,444.72. Market breadth was slightly negative with 144 decliners compared with 124 gainers.
Trading volume was 172 million shares valued at RM53.52mil
The Nasdaq and S&P500 rose overnight as the prospect of less aggressive rate hikes by the Fed amid a potential recession lifted the tech sector. The Dow Jones however was down 0.4%.
On the domestic market, there was a pick up in bank stocks on expectation that the central bank will raise interest rates yet again later today.
Maybank rose five sen to RM8.66, Public Bank gained four sen to RM4.45, CIMB climbed six sen to RM5.11 and Hong Leong Bank was up two sen to RM20.64.
There was a pullback in energy counters however as Brent crude futures fell nearly 10% overnight on recession fears. Petronas Chemicals lost five sen to RM9.07.
Local tech counters were lifted by the Nasdaq's performance. MPI rose 50 sen to RM28.02, Pentamaster gained seven sen to RM3.63 and Frontken added four sen to RM2.12.
Top actives on the market were Sapura Energy down 0.5 sen to four sen, Hibiscus dropping seven sen to 93 sen and Ekovest sliding one sen to 41.5 sen.