KUALA LUMPUR: Stocks on Bursa Malaysia fell in early trade following Wall Street's negative performance on Friday amid growing anxieties over the US Federal Reserve's next interest rate decision.
At 9.05am, the FBM KLCI was down 13.89 points to 1,453.42. The market breadth was negative with 245 decliners compared with 86 gainers.
Trading volume was 121.81 million shares valued at RM88.75mil.
Kenanga Research said in its weekly technical note that investors will be keenly watching overseas developments folowing last week's global stock markets sell-off in reaction to the elevated US August consumer price index report.
"In particular, the second part of heightened inflation concerns will play out this week when the US Federal Open Market Committee meets on Tuesday and Wednesday.
"Spooked by the 8.3% annual jump in August inflation rate, consensus is now betting that the policymakers will raise the federal funds rate either by 75 basis points (82% chance) or 100 basis points (18% chance)," it said.
On the blue-chip index, IHH Healthcare slumped 26 sen to RM6.07, dragging on the index by over three points.
MISC shaved off 15 sen to RM6.98, Press Metal dropped 13 sen to RM4.59 and PPB fell 52 sen to RM16.52.
On the positive end of things, Maybank was up three sen to RM8.61, PETRONAS Chemicals gained five sen to RM8.67 and Sime Darby Plantation rose six sen to RM4.40.
Ahead of its earnings results later this week, Top Glove was seeing active selling pressure, dropping 2.5 sen to 74 sen. There were 12.78 million shares exchanged hands, making it the third most active traded counter so far.
Leading the actives list was Metronic unchanged at two sen with 14.13 million shares exchanging hands and SNS up 0.5 sen to 30.5 sen with 13.49 million units done.
In its technical forecast, Kenanga said the bourse will probably remain under pressure following last week's renewed selling momentum.
"On the back of negative technical signals arising from the stochastic indicator’s ongoing reversal from the overbought territory and the index’s crossing below the 25-day SMA, the FBMKLCI – which touched an intra-week low of 1,466 last Thursday to hover near its most recent trough of 1,465 on 24 August – is expected to show further weakness ahead.
"With that said, the FBMKLCI could pull back deeper towards our immediate support threshold of 1,440. Our first support-turned-resistance hurdle currently stands at 1,475," it added.