KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia fell for a second consecutive session in early trade on Tuesday, weighed down by banking stocks.
The benchmark index fell 1.22 points, or 0.08% to 1,510.12 at 9.15 am.
On the broader market, losers outnumbered gainers 255 to 187. Turnover reached 474.9 million units, valued at RM199.76mil.
Among the banks, Maybank and RHB fell one sen to RM9.31 and RM5.62 respectively.
CIMB fell three sen to RM6.20 and Public Bank lost two sen to RM4.39.
On the broader market, KESM slid 48 sen to RM6.48, SAM Engineering lost 10 sen to RM3.62, United Plantations added 10 sen to RM19.68 and Inari gained eight sen to RM3.19.
Inter-Pacific Research said market conditions have become relatively toppish following recent gains, and the near-term trend is expected to witness the key index persisting in its drifting mode leading up to the upcoming Chinese New Year break.
“There will be few impetuses and with the Fed to keep interest rates elevated for longer, Bursa Malaysia’s condition could be mixed with the downside bias to also remain as there could be more profit taking activities before the start of the long weekend.
“There also remains few domestic leads and this would also leave the market to ponder on its upcoming direction,” it said.
On the downside, Inter-Pacific said supports are seen at the 1,508-1,510 levels before the psychological 1,500 level comes into play.
On the other hand, the hurdles are at the 1,520 and the 1,526 levels respectively.
Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.71% to 38,380.12, the S&P 500 lost 0.32% to 4,942.81 and the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.20%, to 15,597.68.
“It appears that the FBM KLCI may look to defend the 1,500 psychological level and we expect weakness to prevail following the negative sentiment in Wall Street overnight.
“The lower liners may also edge lower on the back of an extended pullback, coupled with the absence of fresh leads. Economic wise, investors will be keeping a close tab on the release of European retail sales later today,” Apex Securities said.
Back home, the market will monitor economic announcements this week such as IPI, retail sales, and unemployment data later this week.
“With the renewed strength in the greenback against the ringgit following the hawkish tone delivered by the US Federal Reserve overnight, we expect export-related stocks to come into the limelight,” Apex said.