Bursa Malaysia opens lower as Fed minutes raise rate hike concerns

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Bursa Malaysia opens lower as Fed minutes raise rate hike concerns
Credit: © Reuters.

KUALA LUMPUR - Bursa Malaysia's main stock index, the FBM KLCI, opened at a loss today, dropping 2.81 points to 1,460.59. The decline comes amid investor caution following the release of the Federal Reserve's latest meeting minutes, which signaled a continuation of rate hikes without any indications of potential cuts, despite ongoing inflation concerns.

Apex Securities Research anticipates short-term volatility in the Malaysian market, with quick profit-taking likely to overshadow any potential rallies. Banking stocks were among those affected by the bearish sentiment, with Maybank falling to RM9.10 and Public Bank declining to RM4.23. Other notable declines included PETRONAS Chemicals and Press Metal, mirroring Wall Street's overnight drop influenced by an anticipated consolidation phase in global markets.

On the flip side, some companies managed to attract investor interest due to positive financial results. Hap Seng Consolidated shares saw a drop after reporting disappointing earnings. Conversely, Teo Seng enjoyed gains following a positive financial report. Aviation sector stocks also caught investors' attention; Capital A climbed to 87 sen and AirAsia X jumped to RM2.34 after exiting from Practice Note 17 status, which could indicate a potential turnaround story for the airline.

Investor unease on Bursa Malaysia is further heightened by expectations of immediate profit-taking in response to the Fed's ongoing cautious policy stance and persistent high inflation issues that are troubling global markets, including Wall Street, which faced a downturn as well.

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