Bursa opens little changed amid cautious recovery

KUALA LUMPUR: While US markets rallied overnight on bets the US Federal Reserve will soon end its interest rate hikes, Bursa Malaysia opened with with less certainty as investors took caution over the continued volatililty in global markets.

At the opening bell, the benchmark FBM KLCI was up just 0.15 points to 1,411.13, with the market on a slight upside bias ahead of the release of the February consumer price index at midday.

"Stocks should extend cautious recovery ahead of the weekend, amid easing worries recent failures in US regional banks and a key European banking giant may not spillover and infect the global financial sector," said TA Securities Research in its market commentary.

"Key index supports remain at the recent low of 1,391 and last October's low of 1,372, with stronger chart supports at 1,350, 1,320 and 1,300.

"Immediate overhead resistance remains at 1,450, followed by the 200-day moving average level at 1,465, with 1,500, then 1,512, and subsequently last August high near 1,528 as stronger resistance levels."

Bank stocks were mixed following the previous session's declines with Maybank dropping two sen to RM8.47 while CIMB rose two sne to RM5.23. Hong Leong Bank was unchanged at RM20.02 and Public Bank was flat at RM3.95.

In telcos, Maxis retreated seven sen to RM3.95 and Axiata shed one sne to Rm2.99.

Tenaga Nasional was also down by six sen to RM9.50.

Bursa Malaysia's technology index was up 0.3% to 61.94, in line with the strong performance of the Nasdaq overnight.

Frontken gained three sen to RM3.11, Greatech rose fie sne to RM4.89 and Unisem gained two sen to RM3.11.

Among other notable gainers, Hextar Technologies rose 50 sen to RM25, Harison jumped nine sen to RM9.19 and Scientex gained six sen to RM3.49.

Top actives included Hong Seng down 0.5 sen to 13 sen, Top Glove flat at RM1.02 and DS Sigma climbing six sen to 45 sen.

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