KUALA LUMPUR: The pullback on the Malaysian benchmark stock index could continue as investors digest recent strong gains before resuming a rally, said Apex Securities Research.
The research firm said in a note the lower liners could also extend their retreat with selective sectors coming into focus.
“Following the hotter-than-expected inflation data in the US, investors remain sceptical over the timing of prospects interest rate cuts and this may limit any potential recovery in the equities markets.
“Still, near term focus lies onto the barrage of US corporate earnings releases with banking giants such as JP Morgan, Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo kicking off the reporting season later tonight,” it said.
Following the release of the US consumer price index report for December, the Dow Jones bounced back from an initial decline to end with a flattish 0.04% increase. The S&P500, meanwhile, was 0.1% lower and the Nasdaq closed flat.
At 9am, the FBM KLCI started 0.24 points higher at 1,483.24 as investors sought for direction following the flattish Wall Street performance.
There was a subdued reaction among the blue chips with early gainers including Nestle up 50 sen to RM120.30, PETREONAS Chemicals rising three sen to RM6.91 and Press Metal gaining three sne to RM4.85.
Some notable laggards included Hong Leong Bank dipping 10 sen to RM18.80 and QL Resources falling 10 sne to RM5.80.
Top actives meanwhile were Hong Seng unchanged at two sen, Ekovest up 1.5 sne to 56 sen and Velesto flat at 25.5 sen.