FBM KLCI rises on optimism over Fed projections

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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian equities prices took a running start after US stock indices broke records overnight, as investors rode a wave of enthusiasm over the US Federal Reserve’s latest guidance.


All three major US stock indices reached new records as the Fed kept the interest rate at 5.25-5.5% and reiterated its guidance for three rate cuts this year, even as it sought confirmation inflation was moving closer to the 2% target.

At the opening bell, the FBM KLCI was up 3.33 points to 1,539.12, with gains in financial services, telco and energy counters.

Bursa Malaysia’s technology index was seen getting a shot in the arm from the outperformance of the Nasdaq, rising 0.1% to 63.68.

In the healthcare sector, Top Glove, which rallied yesterday on the back of improved quarterly results, saw mild profit-taking of half a sen to 85.5 sen.

Rival glove maker Hartalega, bolstered by expected improvement in market demand, was up one sen to RM2.70 after having shot up the previous day, while Kossan Rubber was also up one sen to RM1.94.


While the anticipated loosening of lending rates in the world’s largest economy bodes well for global equities markets, analysts noted that gains on Bursa Malaysia could be tempered by the extended outflow of foreign funds.

In recent days, blue chips on the domestic market have been weighed down as foregn investors sold down on Malaysian stocks.

According to analysts, the outflow could have been partly a result of the outperformance of major Asian markets, which have been beneficiaries of improving sentiment over the Chinese economy as well as as the end of Japan’s negative interest rate policy.

In early Thursday trade, China’s Composite Index rose 0.6% to 3,079 while the blue-chip CSI300 gained 0.2% to 3,585.

Japan’s Nikkei added 1.6% to chalk up yet another record high of 40,641 points.

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