KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia inched higher on the back of a firmer Wall Street performance as the US Federal Open Market Committee is set to kick off the first day of its meeting later today.
At 9.05am, the FBM KLCI was up 3.79 points to 1,455.31.
There were 186 gainers compared with 74 decliners, indicating a positive overall market performance.
Trading volume was 77.48 million shares valued at RM39.51mil.
Investor attention is keenly trained on the FOMC, which will determine the scale of the next US interest rate increase upon its conclusion on Wednesday.
"The local bourse may continue to see sideways trading tone along with the regional peers as investors preparing for further interest rate hikes by the US Fed," said Malacca Securities Research in its daily outlook report.
It noted that investors may also be looking out for stocks in the banking, telco, consumer and building material sectors ahead of the tabling of Malaysia's 2023 budget.
Following the recent sell-off, some blue chips have begun to inch higher including Maybank up one sen to RM8.64, CIMB rising five sen to RM5.47, Tenaga Nasional up 10 sen to RM8.79 and MISC gaining three sen to RM7.02.
Stocks in the red included Hong Leong Bank down 10 sen to RM8.79, PETRONAS Gas sliding 18 sen to RM16.64, Kuala Lumpur Kepong shedding 12 sen to RM21.82 and Sime Darby Plantation down one sen to RM4.36.
Top Glove, which is scheduled to release its quarterly performance results this week, was flat at 70.5 sen.
There was also some positive activity in technology stocks following the rebound in the Nasdaq. MPI gained 38 sen to RM29.48 while Vitrox rose seven sen to RM7.50.
In the actives list, Islamic real estate investment trust AME REIT made its debut on the Main Market as the second most traded counter, rising four sen to RM1.17.
Among other heavily traded counters, Metronic was flat at two sen, and UMW added 0.5 sen to 76 sen.