KUALA LUMPUR: The profit-taking on Bursa Malaysia is expected to accelerate over the course of the day following the late-afternoon selling in the previous session and as the market tracks Wall Street's negative overnight performance.
The major US indices pulled back on concerns that the Federal Reserve meeting minutes showed no sign of slowing interest rate hikes while mixed retail data weighed on the prospects of the economy.
At 9.04am, the FBM KLCI was up 0.86 point to 1,519.02 as investors ventured into bargains following the previous day's decline.
The market breadth however showed weakness with 179 decliners compared with 90 gainers.
There were 170.33 million shares exchanging hands for a value of RM66.1mil.
However, with a raft of earnings scheduled to be released over the remainder of the month, investors could be on the lookout for buying opportunities in outperforming companies.
According to Malacca Securities Research, the spotlight could be on the technology sector given the Nasdaq's weakness overnight, while the glove sector could offer a low-base buying opportunity given that climactic volume may have been achieved and offer a pivot point.
On the blue-chip index, bank stocks were afloat with Maybank rising four sen to RM9.01, Public Bank gaining two sen to RM4.67, and Hong Leong Bank jumping 10 sen to RM20.80.
PETRONAS Chemicals rose five sen to RM8.77 while PETRONAS Gas climbed 16 sen to RM17.18.
Technology stocks on the slide included MPI down 28 sen to RM31.72, UWC falling 10 sen to RM3.86 and Greatec shedding eight sen to RM3.93.
Meanwhile, Cnergenz was the third most actively traded stock on the market following the quarterly earnings growth result announced yesterday. The electronics manufacturer jumped 4.5 sen to 77 sen on the back of 10.65 million shares traded.
Leading the actives list was PHB down 0.5 sen to one sen on 57.04 million unit crossing hands, and Agmo surging 47.5 sen to 73.5 sen on 36.6 million shares done.