KUALA LUMPUR, April 17 ― Bursa Malaysia started the trading day marginally higher despite the mostly downbeat regional market performance, amid Wall Street’s mixed cues overnight as the overall sentiment remained cautious, said an analyst.

At 9.21am, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) rose 0.6 of-a-point to 1,535.6 from yesterday's close of 1,535.0.

The benchmark index opened 0.05 of-a-point firmer to 1,535.05.


On the broader market, gainers led decliners 308 to 155, while 326 counters were unchanged, 1,563 untraded, and 11 others suspended.

Turnover amounted to 408.31 million units worth RM181.07 million.

Most Asian stocks reportedly declined following US Federal Reserve (Fed) chair Jerome Powell's hawkish comments on interest rate cuts.


Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd equity research vice-president Thong Pak Leng said Wall Street was mixed overnight amid a choppy session as traders were trying to balance the narratives on interest rates, coupled with the tension in the Middle East.

As such, the Dow Jones Industrial (DJI) Average gained 64 points, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 20 points as the US 10-year yield inched higher at 4.669 per cent.

“Back home, the FBM KLCI saw more selling of blue chips possibly by foreign funds as the index dipped below the 1,540 mark. The selling was broad-based in line with the regional bloodbath.

“We believe yesterday’s selling was more of a knee-jerk reaction to the escalating tension in the Middle East amid the flight of funds to other asset classes,” he told Bernama.

Therefore, Thong believes bargain-hunting activities would emerge anytime soon and expects the index to move within the 1,530-1,540 range today.

Among the heavyweights, Maybank added one sen to RM9.59 and both Public Bank and CIMB gained two sen to RM4.12 and RM6.50, respectively.

Meanwhile, Tenaga Nasional slipped four sen to RM11.44 and Petronas Chemicals was flat at RM6.80.

As for the actives, Ingenieur Gudang, Alpha IVF and MMAG Holdings inched up half-a-sen each to 15 sen, 34 sen and 20 sen, respectively.

However, Sapura Energy edged down half-a-sen to 4.5 sen and MRCB was flat at 65.5 sen.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index put on 9.24 points to 11,524.25, the FBMT 100 Index climbed 7.61 points to 11,176.59, the FBM 70 Index rose 24.24 points to 16,021.04, the FBM ACE Index increased 35.64 points to 4,917.58, and the FBM Emas Shariah Index edged up 0.33 of-a-point to 11,696.76.

Sector-wise, the Industrial Products and Services Index improved 0.23 of-a-point to 182.31 and the Financial Services Index garnered 24.53 points to 17,033.48.

Meanwhile, the Plantation Index slipped 12.87 points to 7,386.37 and the Energy Index fell 3.37 points to 946.57. ― Bernama