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KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI ended firmer on Thursday despite the broader-market breadth indicating most stocks are losing ground.
The benchmark index closed up 13.72 points, or 0.94% to 1,472.77 after moving between 1,476.02 and 1,461.94 throughout the day.
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Market breadth was negative with losers thumping gainers 556 to 392, while 413 counters were unchanged. Turnover stood at 2.47 million shares valued at RM1.84bil.
Dealers said buying interest on the local bourse was interspersed with profit-taking. They expect trading on Bursa Malaysia to continue to be cautious after the Fed delivered an aggressive but expected rate hike.
SPI Asset Management managing partner Stephen Innes said most investors are still trying to digest the risk-friendly tilt when ultimately, the Fed does need a significant economic slowdown to tame inflation.
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The Fed hiked 75 basis points and indicated a terminal rate of 3.75%.
“Powell placed inflation emphasis on the headline, not the core. Stocks looked fanciful post-Fed given the extent of anticipated tightening. The Fed sees consumer spending as too strong and the jobless rate as too low. The market acted relieved, but that seems odd, given the Fed's commitment to low inflation.
“Equities remain in thrall of interest rates and rallying bond markets signal a positive response to the FOMC's 75 basis points rate hike; hence stocks are a bit calmer, but I doubt for long,” he said.
Top Glove, the most active counter on Bursa Malaysia fell 3.5 sen, or 3.47% to 97.5 sen, with 86.8 million shares done. Year-to-date, the glove maker fell almost 60%.
Nestle surged RM6.80 to RM140, Petronas Dagangan added 74 sen to RM21.14, Hong Leong Financial Group gained 48 sen to RM19.10 and Petronas Gas gained 34 sen to RM16.58.
Berjaya Food shed 31 sen to RM4.37, Batu Kawan fell 30 sen to RM23.74, Chin Tek lost 28 sen to RM9.65 and Carlsberg eased 26 sen to RM22.34.
Meanwhile, the ringgit was quoted at 4.4035, up 0.23% against the US dollar.
US light crude oil fell 18 cents to US$115.13 and Brent lost 26 cents to US$118.25 per barrel.