Bursa Malaysia opens lower but turns higher thereafter

The Sun

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KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia opened marginally lower but turned higher thereafter following hints by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen that interest rates could be hiked at one of its upcoming meetings.

At 9.05am, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) was 1.59 points higher at 1,710.49 after opening 0.81 of-a-point lower at 1,708.09.

The index closed at 1,708.90 yesterday.

Market breadth was positive as gainers led losers by 156 to 67 while 189 counters remained unchanged, 1,301 untraded and 23 others were suspended.

Turnover stood at 82.36 million shares worth RM41.97 million.

In a note today, Public Bank Investment Bhd said the markets appeared to view Yellen's testimony to the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday as more hawkish than had been expected.

"Wall Street's initially cautious response to her comments gave way to bullishness as financial stocks rallied strongly," it said.

Yellen told the Congress on Tuesday that it would be "unwise" to wait too long to raise interest rates.

Of heavyweights, Maybank gained three sen to RM8.35, Public Bank and Maxis improved two sen each to RM20.24 and RM6.44, respectively, and Petronas Gas added six sen to RM20.66.

Among actives, TH Heavy inched up half-a-sen to 16 sen, FoundPac and UEM Sunrise advanced two sen each to 81 sen and RM1.19, respectively, while Sterling Progress remained unchanged at 21.5 sen.

The FBM Emas Index was 12.26 points better at 12,041.11, the FBMT100 Index rose 11.05 points to 11,721.10 and the FBM Emas Syariah Index improved 15.27 points to 12,568.22.

The FBM 70 perked 13.61 points to 13,897.52 and the FBM Ace garnered 4.78 points to 5,306.37.

Sector-wise, the Plantation Index jumped 43.78 points to 8,288.02, the Finance Index bagged 30.67 points to 15,145.20 and the Industrial Index added 3.14 points to 3,280.27.

The physical price of gold as at 9.30am stood at RM169.63 per gramme, down 37 sen from RM170.00 at 5pm yesterday. — Bernama