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KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia ended the morning trading session broadly lower ahead of Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) Monetary Policy Committee’s (MPC) key rate decision later today, with market participants anticipating another 25 basis points hike.

At 12.30 pm, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) fell 18.08 points to 1,433.53 from Wednesday’s close of 1,451.61.

The market bellwether opened 3.29 points lower at 1,448.32 and hit its intraday low at 1,432.30 during the mid-morning session.

On the broader market, decliners outpaced advancers 563 to 197, while 338 counters were unchanged, 1,227 untraded, and nine others suspended.

Turnover stood at 1.44 billion units valued at RM790.20 million.

Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd said investors remained cautious prior to the MPC’s final meeting for 2022 today.

“Nevertheless, we expect selling pressure to emerge as well in Asian stock markets after the US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated the hawkish stance to combat stubbornly-elevated inflation, which may dampen the attractiveness of interest rate sensitive sectors such as technology,” it said in a note.

On the home front, heavyweights Maybank fell 4.0 sen to RM8.50, Public Bank lost 6.0 sen to RM4.39, Petronas Chemicals and IHH Healthcare both dipped 3.0 sen to RM8.62 and RM5.97, respectively, while Sime Darby was flat at RM2.19.

As for the active stocks, Top Glove went down 6.5 sen to 74.5 sen, Serba Dinamik-WA and Advance Synergy were unchanged at 1.0 sen and 7.0 sen, respectively, while Alam Maritim rose half-a-sen to 2.5 sen.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index fell 118.25 points to 10,179.19, the FBM 70 slid 98.47 points to 12,102.37, and the FBMT 100 Index slipped 114.72 points to 9,916.13.

The FBM Emas Shariah Index declined 135.21 points to 10,232.46, while the FBM ACE trimmed 68.28 points to 4,885.56.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index decreased 127.85 points to 16,198.24, the Industrial Products and Services Index edged down 1.43 points to 173.39, and the Plantation Index shed 98.61 points to 6,738.08.

However, the Energy Index was 7.44 points firmer at 717.77. – Bernama

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