FBM KLCI to trade sideways on weak sentiment

KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI may be looking at flattish trading given the weakened global sentiment although technology stocks are expected to rally on the back of Nvidia's earnings beat.

Apex Securities Research said in a note the benchmark index is likely to track the downturn in investor sentiment although the downside will be supported by the influx of foreign fund inflows.

Global markets have been in a profit-taking mood following dampened expectations of a US Federal Reserve rate cut in the first quarter of the year. The release of the Fed's recent meeting minutes overnight only served to affirm the view that policymakers remained concerned over lingering high inflation.

Meanwhile, Apex said lower liners may brace for a consolidation following the recent rally although the surge in the Nasdaq alongside Nvidia's results announcement are likely to trigger buying in semiconductor stocks.

"Additionally, O&G counters may resume their uptrend after the rebound in oil prices, driven by market assessments of near-term supply tightness due to geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.

"We remain bullish export-related stocks as the prolonged high interest rates in the US is likely to weaken the ringgit against the US dollar," it added.

At the open, the FBM KLCI was down 1.69 points to 1,550.71.

The decline was led by a retreat in Tenaga Nasional by 12 sen to RM11.26 and PPB by 14 sen to RM15.36.

Genting was down three sen to RM4.95, Genting Malaysia droped one sen to RM2.88 and IHH shed five sen to RM6.15.

The Bursa Malaysia Technology Index was uo 0.32 points to 63.98 with gains in Unisem up two sen to RM3.24, MPI up RM1.12 to RM27.30 and Notion Vtec, up six sen to to 37.5 sen.

Top actives included Reneuco up one sen to 10.5 sen, TWL rising 0.5 sen to four sen and Hong Seng unchanged at two sen.

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