KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 27 — Bursa Malaysia traded cautiously early today amid US equity weaknesses.

At 9.08am, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) eased by 0.80 of-a-point to 1,456.00 from Friday’s close of 1,456.80.

The index opened 0.76 of-a-point lower at 1,456.04.

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On the broader market, decliners led advancers 199 to 174, while 251 counters were unchanged, 1,617 untraded and 70 others suspended.

Turnover stood at 334.75 million units worth RM102.06 million.

Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd vice-president of equity research Thong Pak Leng said Wall Street closed broadly lower on Friday as concerns about inflation heightened following the release of a higher-than-expected personal consumption expenditure price index, that may force the Federal Reserve to maintain a high-interest regime longer than anticipated.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined by 337 points, while Nasdaq lost 195 points as the US 10-year yield remained at almost 3.95 per cent.

Closer to home, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slipped to its lowest level this year at just above the 20,000 mark due to a mixed bag of earnings from major Chinese tech companies coupled with strong headwinds from the United States.

“We reckon sentiment on the local bourse will remain cautious mainly due to the US weakness but with some positive bias.

“Thus, we expect the index to hover within the 1,455-1,465 range today with interest on the banks, construction and telco sectors today,” he said.

Among heavyweights, Press Metal lost 13 sen to RM5.07, Petronas Chemicals fell 11 sen to RM7.09 and KLK was 24 sen weaker at RM20.90.

Public Bank narrowed one sen to RM4.12 and IHH trimmed two sen to RM5.90.

Other Bursa Malaysia heavyweights CIMB advanced four sen to RM5.51 and Maybank added three sen to RM8.77.

As for active stocks, Zen Tech International and Borneo Oil were flat at 2.5 sen and 2.0 sen respectively, BCM fell half-a-sen to 2.0 and MYEG was down one sen to 72.5 sen.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index gave up 3.42 points to 10,623.02, the FBMT 100 Index dwindled 3.46 points to 10,294.36, the FBM ACE Index lost 68.28 points to 5,491.77, the FBM Emas Shariah Index went down 25.46 points to 10,905.13, but the FBM 70 Index rose 4.79 points to 13,510.00.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index rose 42.24 points to 16,064.07, the Energy Index fell 0.26 of-a-point to 890.58, the Plantation Index decreased 26.44 points to 6,765.89 and the Industrial Products and Services Index eased 1.46 points to 178.20. — Bernama