FBM KLCI takes a breather from selling pressure

KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI maintained its slight lead at midday as investors picked up some bargains following the recent rout.

However, analysts expect sentiment to be weak given the high inflation and growing uncertainty over the US Federal Reserve’s outlook.

At 9.05am, the benchmark index was up 3.48 points to 1,550.35 while market breadth was positive with 592 gainers compared to 293 decliners.

On the blue-chip index, Public Bank jumped seven sen to RM4.37 and CIMB gained nine sen to RM4.84.

Petronas Chemicals climbed 32 sen to RM10.02, as Brent crude prices are expected to continue rising on the US ban on Russian oil imports.

Plantation counters retreated with IOI falling 11 sen to RM4.20 and Kuala Lumpur Kepong dropping 24 sen to RM26.76.

Meanwhile, technology counters jumped, led by MPI up RM2.80 to RM29.90, Vitrox gaining 81 sen to RM6.71, D&O rising 40 sen to RM3.75.

Top actives were SMTrack down one sen to 9.5 sen, Vinvest dropping 0.5 sen to 24 sen and Sapura Energy unchanged at 3.5 sen.

Meanwhile, Asian markers remained in bearish mode with South Korea’s Kospi falling 1.1% and China’s composite index sliding 1.1%.

Japan’s Nikkei however bounced 0.5%.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng fell 2.2% while Australia’s ASX200 climbed 1.1%.

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