KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia’s barometer index unexpectedly made a positive ending with slight gains despite cautious trading throughout the day.
Investors, meanwhile, await the release of the United States inflation data later which could influence the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) policy outlook.
At 5 pm, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) improved by 0.15 of a point to end at its intraday high of 1,453.54.
The index opened 6.36 points lower at 1,444.81 from 1,453.39 at Tuesday’s close.
Market breadth was mixed, with 480 decliners outnumbering 405 gainers, while 440 counters were unchanged and 1,009 untraded.
Turnover was lower at 2.51 billion units worth RM1.88 billion against Tuesday’s 2.88 billion units worth RM1.99 billion.
Investors are showing interest in undervalued stocks in the oil and gas industry due to a rise in oil prices, which have reached a nearly 10-month high due to supply constraints.
This trend is also observed in other industries such as plantations, healthcare, energy, technology, and construction.
Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd equity research vice-president Thong Pak Leng said most investors continued to exhibit a wait-and-see attitude ahead of the US consumer price index (CPI) data tonight.
On top of that, there are concerns about China’s slower-than-expected stimulus plan rollout.
"The local market remains cautious for the short term, due to fears of a US rate hike, while needing some catalysts to move upwards.
"Investors are hoping the US will not increase their interest rate. If this materialises, we expect the market to turn positive,” he said.
It was widely expected that the Fed would leave the rate unchanged at the September meeting with a chance of a hike in November.
"Hence, we expect the FBM KLCI to remain in consolidation mode for the time being unless there are new catalysts to drive a change,” he told Bernama.
Bursa heavyweights Petronas Chemicals jumped 22 sen to RM7.22, Tenaga Nasional was 11 sen higher at RM9.95, Sime Darby Plantations added five sen to RM4.36 and Maybank eased two sen to RM9.12.
Of the actives, Capital A went up eight sen to 97 sen, Berjaya Land added 2.5 sen to 29.5 sen and Armada improved by 1.5 sen to 53.5 sen.
On the index board, the FBMT 100 Index was 5.46 points better at 10,385.83, the FBM Emas Index was 5.91 points higher at 10,706.01, the FBM Emas Shariah Index rose 56.36 points to 10,917.33 and the FBM 70 Index increased 26.20 points to 14,088.35.
The FBM ACE Index fell 21.65 points to 5,144.30
Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index fell 105.98 points to 16,330.94, while the Energy Index added 24.71 points to 880.41, the Plantation Index edged up 44.63 points to 6,928.91 and the Industrial Products and Services Index was higher by 1.44 points to 172.17. - Bernama