KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia opened lower today due to cautious sentiment ahead of the release of the US inflation figures.
The US consumer price index for August is widely expected to be higher, prompting concerns that the Federal Reserve would maintain its hawkish tone.
Nonetheless, Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd equity research vice-president Thong Pak Leng reckons that the market undertone is still firm despite the prevailing external volatility.
Hence, he expects the index to hover within the 1,450-1,460 range today.
He believes that interest may shift to the oil and gas counters today following the spike in oil prices, as Brent crude oil surged past US$92 (RM411.88) per barrel due to tight supply.
“Interestingly, buying interest was also seen among the plantation stocks although the crude palm oil (CPO) price slipped to below RM3,700 per tonne due to high stockpile,” he told Bernama.
At 9.05am, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) fell 7.28 points to 1,446.11 from 1,453.39 at yesterday’s close.
The index opened 6.36 points lower at 1,447.03.
On the broader market, decliners thumped gainers 179 versus 106, with 254 counters unchanged and 1,795 untraded.
Turnover stood at about 159 million units worth RM81 million.
Bursa heavyweight counters Maybank edged down by 2 sen to RM9.14, CIMB was flat at RM5.70 and Tenaga Nasional was 1 sen lower at RM9.83.
Of the actives, Berjaya Land added 5 sen to 32 sen and Sarawak Consolidated improved 1 sen to 47 sen.
On the index board, the FBM Emas Index FBMT 100 Index was 37.23 points easier at 10,662.87, the FBMT 100 Index was 38.25 points weaker at 10,342.02, the FBM Emas Shariah Index slipped 10.49 points to 10,850.48 and the FBM ACE Index fell 16.56 points to 5,149.39.
Meanwhile, the FBM 70 Index rose 5.83 points to 14,067.98.
Sector-wise, the financial services index dipped 107.44 points to 16,329.48, the plantation index increased 1.10 points to 6,885.38 and the industrial products and services index inched down 0.07 of-a-point to 170.66.