KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia was slightly lower in early trade today, in line with a muted Wall Street performance overnight and a mixed regional performance.
Despite US inflation accelerating to 3.7% in August compared to a consensus expectation of 3.6%, markets remain hopeful that the Federal Reserve (Fed) will keep interest rates unchanged this month.
This is because the annual rise in underlying, or core inflation, was the smallest in nearly two years.
Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd equity research vice-president Thong Pak Leng said although the local bourse seems to be well supported currently, the underlying sentiment is still cautious as the daily volumes have been still lower than desired.
He said the market also continued to worry about China’s economic recovery despite developer Country Garden, one of the biggest real estate developers in the country, obtaining a temporary reprieve from its creditors to delay bond payments.
“Nonetheless, we reckon persistent accumulation of blue chips will eventually see spillover effects on the smaller-cap stocks. For today, we reckon the index to hover between the 1,450-1,460 range again,” he added.
At 9.09am, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) fell 5.72 points to 1,447.82 from yesterday’s close of 1,453.54.
The index opened 4.32 points lower at 1,449.22.
Gainers outnumbered decliners by 167 to 135, while 241 others were unchanged, 1,791 untraded, and nine suspended.
Turnover stood at 175.08 million units worth RM90.91 million.
Bursa heavyweights Petronas Chemicals eased 10 sen to RM7.12, Dialog was 2 sen weaker at RM2.16, Public Bank was flat at RM4.14 and CIMB added 1 sen to RM5.71.
Of the actives, Tanco and Sarawak Consolidated were flat at 52.5 sen and 47 sen respectively, while Capital A rose 3.5 sen to 98.5 sen.
On the index board, the FBMT 100 Index was 31.49 points lower at 10,354.34, the FBM Emas Index was 31.25 points weaker at 10,674.76, and the FBM Emas Shariah Index reduced 13.23 points to 10,904.1.
The FBM 70 Index dropped 3.1 points to 14,085.24 and the FBM ACE Index fell 5.59 points to 5,138.71.
Sector-wise, the financial services index slipped 92.94 points to 16,238 while the energy index added 2.07 points to 882.48 and the plantation index edged down 9.09 points to 6,919.82.
The Industrial Products and Services Index was lower by 0.83 of-a-point to 171.34.