Bursa bounces back slightly from beaten-down prices

KUALA LUMPUR: The selling pressure on Bursa Malaysia is expected to slow today following a mixed performance on Wall Street overnight, which saw the Dow Jones move slightly higher.

The benchmark FBM KLCI opened a marginal 0.05 points higher at 1,535.05, which reflected the heightened state of caution on the market.

Malaysian stocks retracing previous losses included Axiata up five sen to RM2.55, MISC gaining three sen to RM7.82, Telekom Malaysia adding three sen to RM6.03 and YTL Power rising three sen to RM3.85.

There were also gains in consumer counter Dutch Lady, adding 44 sen to RM32 and brewer Heineken Malaysia climbing 30 sen to RM22.80.

Ingenieur Gudang remained heavily traded, rising one sen to 15.5 as the market's most active share, while SBH was flat at 27.5 sen and MRCB added one sen to 66.5 sen.

US blue chips bounced back slightly in Tuesday trading after a sharp decline as hotter-than-expected inflation data pointed towards a delay in interest rate cuts.

Speaking at a policy forum last night, Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell signaled that policymakers will wait longer than previously anticipated given the fresh data, which all but confirmed investors' suspicions that the lending rate will remain in place for the time being.

Meanwhile, Apex Securities Research said bargain-hunting on the domestic market is likely to emerge following the recent pullback.

It added that better-than-expected China economic growth could also alleviate the recent selling pressure.

However, the research firm cautioned investors to remains defensive and to focus on fundamentally sound stocks during the volatile period.

"Export-oriented companies may benefit from the continued strengthening of the USD, driven by expectations of higher interest rates in the longer term.

"Additionally, we maintain a bullish outlook on commodities-related stocks, particularly those within the oil and gas sector, supported by sustained high oil prices," it said in its market outlook.

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