FBM KLCI flat in early trade

KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI remained flattish on resuming trade on Friday after the Hari Raya Aidilfitri break as investors continued to stay on the sidelines.

The 30-stock index dips 0.35 of a point to 1,553.16 at 9.11 am. It opened 0.58 of a point higher at 1,554.09 earlier.

The top decliners were Dutch Lady, which slid 62 sen to RM33.50, Allianz, which fell 20 sen to RM22, Heineken, which lost 12 sen to RM23.56 and CIMB, which declined eight sen to RM6.49.

Among the gainers, Hong Leong Industries gained 26 sen to RM11.26, Oriental Holdings rose 25 sen to RM7.01, Dufu Technology gained 18 sen to RM2.11 and Malaysia Smelting Corp added 17 sen to RM2.74.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.01% to 38,459.08, the S&P 500 gained 0.74% to 5,199.06 and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.68% to 16,442.20.

Inter-Pacific Research said the near-term market conditions are likely to remain unsettled following the pullback among global indices with the release of higher-than-expected U.S. inflation data.

The research house said the high CPI reading has dashed hopes for an early interest rate cut. Experts now predict inflation will stay elevated longer, possibly leading to rate cuts in September instead of June as previously forecasted.

“Consequently, trades among the key index constituents could remain lacklustre due to the more cautious market environment and there could be further downside bias ahead of the weekend.

“This also means that the 1,550 level will be the immediate support, followed by the 1,545-1,547 levels. The hurdles are at 1,560 and 1,565 levels respectively,” Inter-Pacific said.

Meanwhile, Apex Securities expects the global markets to remain steady as investors await the first-quarter banking earnings season to kick off today.

“Similarly, we expect the local bourse to consolidate above the 1,500 psychological level in the absence of a fresh catalyst, while investors are still reeling from the mid-week festive break. The stronger-than-expected US inflation data diminishes the prospects of interest rate cuts hence we expect a pullback to take place as investors lock in their recent gains.

“The lower liners may also brace for some weakness ahead after enjoying a decent run. Key economic focus will be directed towards US Michigan Consumer Sentiment as well as UK industrial and manufacturing production decisions to be released today. With the ongoing volatility, we advocate investors to be defensive, focusing on gold-related stock and utilities sector,” Apex said.

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FBM KLCI , KLCI , Bursa Malaysia


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