KUALA LUMPUR: The selling on the domestic market is expected to intensify falling the sharp sell-off on Wall Street overnight as investors were spooked by elevated long-term Treasury yields.
"Given the elevated inflationary pressure, rising US Treasury yields as well as expectations of another possible interest rate hike move by the Federal Reserves, downward pressure on stock markets may continue," said Malacca Securities Research in a note.
However, the research firm added that investors may position themselves ahead of the upcoming Budget 2024.
It noted the building material and construction sectors were in focus ahead of the Budget while technology stocks could see selling interest following the overnight selling and the energy sector could also remain pressured amid declining Brent oil prices.
At the start of trading, the benchmark FBM KLCI was down 2.1 points to 1,417.91, with further losses expected over the course of the day given the strong negative sentiment.
Bank stocks had returned to the backfoot with Public Bank down one sen to RM4.05, CIMB sliding three sen to RM5.38 and Hong Leong Bank shedding 16 sen to RM19.30.
Plantations counters were also down, led by IOI falling four sen to RM3.91 and Sime Darby Plantation sliding three sen to RM4.29.
Kuala Lumpur Kepong's trading stock remained halted from trading pending an announcement on a proposed deal over Boustead Plantations.
On the broader market, top actives were Sealink up two sen to 21 sen, KNM flat at 15 sen and Hextar Industries up 0.5 sen to 41 sen.