KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia extended yesterday’s losses to open easier on Wednesday, while sentiments were mixed on the Wall Street overnight.

At 9.05 am, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) fell by 3.88 points to 1,473.08 from yesterday’s closing of 1,476.96.

The market bellwether opened 0.74 of-a-point lower at 1,476.22.

There were 145 gainers and 152 losers on the broader market, while 254 counters were unchanged, 1,739 untraded and 67 others suspended.

Turnover stood at 353.69 million units worth RM75.44 million.

In a research note today, Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd said the FBM KLCI is taking a mild breather amid profit-taking activities in selected glove heavyweights, following the conclusion of the 15th general election.

Additionally, with the Wall Street ending mixed yesterday ahead of the United States Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell’s speech on the inflation battle into 2023, the uncertain sentiment may spill over towards the local front, it said.

“Nevertheless, traders could focus on the ongoing reporting season to uncover undervalued gems,“ it said.

Meanwhile, the market is still waiting for the formation of the Malaysian Cabinet, which may provide clues for Malaysia’s growth going forward, the stockbroking firm said.

“Given the uncertain setup, we expect investors to focus on defensive sectors such as the telco, utility as well as consumer sectors.

“We opine that the focus may shift to construction and building material stocks ahead of the re-tabling of Budget 2023, and the oil and gas sector could do well under the firm Brent crude oil prices environment,“ it added.

Among the heavyweights, both Maybank and CIMB were three sen lower at RM8.67 and RM5.79, respectively, Public Bank erased one sen to RM4.40, Petronas Chemicals went down eight sen to RM8.44 and IHH Healthcare decreased four sen to RM5.91.

Of the actives, MMAG and Zen Tech were flat at three sen and 4.5 sen, respectively, Leform eased three sen to 20 sen and SMTrack inched down half-a-sen to 5.5 sen, while MQ Technology gained half-a-sen to 5.5 sen.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index weakened 15.79 points to 10,528.72, the FBMT 100 Index contracted 16.21 points to 10,243.70 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index slipped 11.89 points to 10,650.68.

Meanwhile, the FBM ACE strengthened 27.61 points to 5,224.33 and the FBM 70 went up 22.90 points to 12,719.27

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index was 53.65 points lower at 16,595.40, the Industrial Products and Services Index inched down 0.33 of-a-point to 181.25 and the Energy Index trimmed 7.06 points to 756.85, while the Plantation Index ticked up 8.54 points to 6,815.77. - Bernama

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