Bursa opens higher as US Fed sees slowdown in rate hikes

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 24 — Bursa Malaysia rose in the early trade today as investors lauded the positive news from the United States Federal Reserve’s November meeting, where officials agreed that a slower pace of interest rate hikes was likely to be appropriate soon.

At 9.07am, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) increased by 13.55 points to 1,457.05 from 1,443.5 on Wednesday, thanks to renewed buying interest, especially in the banking stocks.

The market bellwether opened 7.18 points higher at 1,450.68.

On the broader market, gainers outnumbered losers 261 to 92, while 190 counters were unchanged, 1,790 untraded and 84 others suspended.

Turnover stood at 464.42 million units worth RM186.57 million.

Among the banking stocks, Maybank increased by 15 sen to RM8.70, Public Bank bagged nine sen to RM4.37, and CIMB advanced 10 sen to RM5.61.

Altogether, these stocks contributed 7.84 points to the composite index.

Regional bourses were also on the uptrend with Japan’s Nikkei 225 rising by 1.32 per cent to 28,485.54, while Singapore’s Straits Times Index expanded 0.27 per cent to 3,264.67, and South Korea’s Kospi added 0.52 per cent to 2,430.48.

Back home, Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd vice-president of Equity Research, Thong Pak Leng said buying support could possibly come from local institutions, which could send the index to end the day above the 1,440 level.

On the political front, he also said UMNO’s decision to support the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s proposal of a unity government could potentially end the prevailing political impasse, and this might inject some optimism into the local bourse.

“As such, we reckon the index may trend in the 1,440-1,460 range today,” he told Bernama.

Among the heavyweights, Petronas Chemicals garnered six sen to RM8.84, Tenaga picked up two sen to RM8.44, and Press Metal added one sen to RM4.84.

IHH Healthcare slipped one sen to RM5.98, and both Hong Leong Bank and Petronas Gas shed two sen to RM20.46 and RM16.88, respectively.

Among the actives, Advance Synergy added five sen to 22.5 sen, Malayan United perked one sen to 11 sen and MyEG gained 1.5 sen to 81 sen, while Eden shed 3.5 sen to 15.5 sen, and Thriven weakened 2.5 sen to 13 sen.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index increased 83.09 points to 10,349.31, the FBM Emas Shariah Index advanced 38.55 points to 10,455.28, the FBMT 100 Index climbed 85.02 points to 10,082.45, the FBM ACE bagged 27.06 points to 5,000.79, and the FBM 70 improved 68.64 points to 12,319.89.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index surged 198.67 points to 16,366.88 and the Industrial Products and Services Index inched up 0.82 of-a-point to 180.68, while the Plantation Index lost 35.96 points to 6,831.73, and the Energy Index trimmed 3.34 points to 740.52. — Bernama

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