KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5 — Bursa Malaysia’s barometer index ended slightly lower today, paring most of its earlier losses, thanks to a rebound in telecommunications, consumer products and services as well as banking stocks.

At 5pm, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) fell 1.56 points to 1,449.46 from Monday’s close of 1,451.02.

The index, which opened 0.11 of-a-point higher at 1,451.13, fluctuated between 1,444.58 and 1,451.59 during the trading session.

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Market breadth was negative, with decliners beating gainers 492 to 369, while 467 counters were unchanged, 986 untraded and 13 others suspended.

Turnover climbed to 3.54 billion units worth RM2 billion from 3.16 billion units worth RM1.87 billion yesterday.

Rakuten Trade equity research vice-president Thong Pak Leng said the local market saw investors pick up beaten-down counters following selling that occurred since yesterday.

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“We believe the selloff offers an opportunity for investors to accumulate stocks at attractive levels,” he told Bernama.

Nevertheless, he said investors remained cautious ahead of the US job market report, which could offer insights into the Federal Reserve’s stance on interest rates ahead of the last Federal Open Market Committee meeting of the year on December 12-13.

The markets currently expect a pause in interest rate movement this year and a rate cut as early as March next year.

On top of that, the intensifying Middle East conflict continues to negatively impact investor sentiment in various markets.

“Based on the current market sentiment, we reckon the FBM KLCI will stay in consolidation mode and trend within the 1,445-1,465 range for the rest of the week until fresh catalysts emerge,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Asia markets reportedly fell across the board as investors assessed a slew of economic data across the region. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell 1.37 per cent, China’s SSE Composite dipped 1.67 per cent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index tumbled 1.91 per cent.

On the local bourse, heavyweights CelcomDigi and RHB Bank bagged three sen each to RM4.23 and RM5.48 respectively.

Nestle rose RM1.10 to RM115, while Axiata and Petronas Chemicals rose two sen each to RM2.42 and RM7.07 respectively.

As for the most active counters, Sapura Energy and Widad dropped half-a-sen each to 4.0 sen and 46.5 sen, respectively, Classita added one sen to 5.5 sen, Velesto was flat at 22 sen, and Leform gained half-a-sen to 34 sen.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index slipped 1.05 points to 10,682.37, the FBMT 100 Index eased 1.11 points to 10,353.06 and the FBM ACE Index dropped 37.04 points to 5,078.81.

The FBM 70 Index increased by 42.25 points to 14,025.27 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index rose 14.75 points to 10,836.67.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index fell 24.07 points to 16,340.29, the Industrial Products and Services Index shed 0.44 of-a-point to 169.83, the Energy Index edged down 2.99 points to 809.22 and the Plantation Index improved 5.68 points to 6,988.90.

The Main Market volume expanded to 2.06 billion units valued at RM1.70 billion against 1.90 billion units valued at RM1.62 billion on Monday.

Warrants turnover increased to 678.24 million units worth RM69.44 million from 610.12 million units worth RM58.20 million previously.

The ACE Market volume advanced to 799.46 million shares valued at RM232.45 million versus 623.39 million shares valued at RM195.27 million yesterday.

Consumer products and services counters accounted for 436.11 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (378.40 million); construction (84.61 million); technology (115.56 million); SPAC (nil); financial services (55.28 million); property (236.93 million); plantation (33.31 million); REITs (11.73 million), closed/fund (5,000); energy (430.97 million); healthcare (118.18 million); telecommunications and media (35.07 million); transportation and logistics (35.61 million); and utilities (84.28 million). — Bernama