FBM KLCI opens lower as Fed minutes signal hawkish mood

KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI could be pulling back to the 1,600 psychological support this week as a hawkish tone set by US Federal Reserve officials in the latest meeting minutes accelerate profit-taking activities.

At 9am, the key index fell 1.43 points to 1,620.66, tracking the weaker performance in the US stock indices overnight.

"We expect a consolidation to take shape with the key index looking to defend the 1,600 level with foreign funds turning into net selling position.

"The lower liners are also bracing for an extended pullback as investors turn their attention towards the ongoing batch of corporate earnings releases," said Apex Securities Research in a note.

Meanwhile, the research firm is bullish on glove-related stocks following the improved financial performance by Hartalega and Kossan.

On Thursday, Hartalega rose eight sen to RM3.67 while Kossan rose six sen to RM2.50.

Top Glove climbed four sen to RM1.23 and Supermax added 1.5 sen to 98 sen.

On outlook, Apex is also favourable on real estate investment trusts, given their defensive nature amid the potential renewed volatility.

On the FBM KLCI, laggards included MISC down 12 sen to RM8.19, PETRONAS Chemicals shedding five sen to RM6.98 and PETTRONAS Gas dropping 10 sen to RM18.20.

Top actives were Ingenieur flat at seven sen, MUI unchanged at six sen and JCY up two sen to 41 sen.

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