KUALA LUMPUR: Caution is expected to prevail on the local market following the release of the US Federal Reserve’s meeting minutes that renewed volatility in global markets.
Overnight, the minutes of the most recent Federal Open Market Committee meeting suggested that rate cuts over the coming year is likely but offered little guidance as to when they might begin.
The ensuing fall in the the major US indices is expected to have negative spillover effects on other world markets, incuding Bursa Malaysia.
“Despite the improving market sentiment, we expect the key index further gains will be kept in check, premised to the renewed volatility on global markets with expectations of rate interest rate cuts from the US dimmed and cautiousness on China’s economic policies,” said Apex Securities Research in a note.
It added also that following the strong performance of the FBM Small Cap Index, there is expected to be profit-taking activity in the offing.
At the opening bell, the FBM KLCI was up 0.48 points to 1,462.85 as investors attempted to retrace the losses made in the days leading up to Christmas.
Gainers included QL Resources up five sen to RM5.78, PPB up 12 sen to RM14.68 and YTL Power rising two sen to RM2.82.
Declining stocks included PETRONAS Dagangan down six sen to RM21.50, Press Metal falling two sen to RM4.92 and IOI shedding two sen to RM3.98.
There was a jump in Dutch Lady, up 24 sen to RM25, Edaran climbing 17 sen to RM1.38 and TAS surging 10.5 sen to 52.5 sen.
Top actives included Minetec up 1.5 sen to 19 sen, Hong Seng flat at three sen and MMAG gaining one sen to 16 sen.