FBM KLCI retests 1,500 level as US GDP data lifts investor sentiment

KUALA LUMPUR: The domestic market was bullish at Friday's opening bell as global equities received a shot in the arm from positive US economic data.

The benchmark FBM KLCI gapped up 1.58 points at the opening bell to 1,499.97, retesting the psychological resistance of 1,500 points.

Bursa Malaysia, which has remained downbeat over the last two trading sessions despite a rally in Asian markets, is looking to break out of a stubborn consolidation as investors have been quick to take profit from recent gains.

"The lower liners are staying firm amid strong buying interest, but we caution that the overbought position in most of the stocks across Bursa Malaysia may attract quick profit taking over the foreseeable future.

"Globally, the stronger-than-expected economic data in the US may continue to lend support for further recovery on Wall Street," said Malacca Securities Research in its market commentary.

The US market rallied in its Thursday trading session as US gross domestic product growth for the fourth quarter of 2022 came in at a better-than-expected 2.9% on an annualised basis, beating analyst expectations.

Meanwhile, TA Securities Research added that the overnight rebound on Wall Street should revive the local market, but the undertone remained cautious as investors refrained from trading commitments and amid clueless market direction on the local front.

"Immediate support for the index stays at 1,460 and 1,450, with stronger supports at 1,420 and 1,400.

"Immediate resistance remains at 1,512, with the August high near 1,528 as stronger resistance, followed by 1,550 and 1,570 as tougher upside hurdles," said the research firm in its technical review.

Following the rally in the Nasdaq overnight, technology counters on the Bursa Malaysia technology index rose 0.6% to 68.40.

MPI rose 30 sen to RM34.30, Unisem gaied six sen to RM3.15 and UWC added three sen to RM4.05.

Among blue chips, IHH rose two sen to RM5.95, Press Metal gained three sen to RM5.33 and Sime Darby Plantation added three sen to RM4.38.

Bank stocks remained wobbly with Public Bank losing two sen to RM4.26 and Hong Leong Bank shedding eigth sen to RM20.90.

Top actives on the local bourse were MMAG unchanged at two sen, ATA IMS rising seven sen to 46.5 sen and Cypark gaining 3.5 sen to 99.5 sen.

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