KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia traded in a tight range early on Tuesday, mirroring Wall Street’s performance ahead of the year’s final Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting next week.

At 9.05 am, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) eased 0.42 of-a-point to 1,450.60 from Monday’s close of 1,451.02.

The index opened 0.11 of-a-point higher at 1,451.13.

Market breadth was negative, with decliners beating gainers 167 to 106, while 229 counters were unchanged, 1,812 untraded and 13 others suspended.

Turnover amounted to 140.98 million units worth RM48.22 million.

Rakuten Trade equity research vice-president Thong Pak Leng said Wall Street finished lower due to profit-taking on big tech stocks.

“Moreover, concerns among investors about an escalation in the conflict between Israel and Palestine has the potential to disrupt the outlook for the Middle East, possibly causing crude oil prices to surge and leading to an increase in inflation,” he said.

Market players are also closely monitoring the US employment data this week, which will still influence the Federal Reserve’s decision on interest rates.

The last FOMC meeting of the year will be held on Dec 12-13.

Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd said the market is looking at a pause in interest rate movement this year and could be expecting a rate cut as soon as March next year.

Among the heavyweights, Hong Leong Bank lost 18 sen to RM19.04, CelcomDigi was two sen lower at RM4.18 and Tenaga Nasional fell four sen to RM9.94.

CIMB gained five sen to RM5.83 and Press Metal improved three sen to RM4.83.

As for the most active counters, CSH Alliance bagged half-a-sen to 5.5 sen, while Leform, Panda Eco and MMS Ventures were flat at 33.5 sen, 24 sen and 55 sen, respectively.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index added 1.49 points at 10,684.91 and the FBM 70 Index increased 1.03 points to 13,984.05.

The FBMT 100 Index slid 2.11 points to 10,352.06, the FBM Emas Shariah Index trimmed 5.46 points to 10,816.46 and the FBM ACE Index dropped 14.10 points to 5,101.75.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index gained 5.71 points to 16,370.07 and the Industrial Products and Services Index rose 0.24 of-a-point to 170.51, while the Energy Index edged down 1.18 points to 811.03 and the Plantation Index slipped 11.38 points to 6,971.84. - Bernama

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