Bursa Malaysia sees strong selling pressure as inflation worries build

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KUALA LUMPUR: The domestic market succumbed to selling pressure in the early session as investors took money off the table ahead of a key US inflation data release tomorrow.

Headed into the lunch break, the benchmark FBM KLCI was down 6.61 points to 1,584.34, extending the index’s decline after a mild rebound in the previous session.

Global investors are on tenterhooks as they await the release of the US personal consumption expenditures index, the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation, on late Friday.

There was overall market weakness, underpinned by 677 decliners compared to 302 gainers and 426 unchanged. The morning turnover was 2.61 billion shares crossing for RM1.49bil.

Amid the broad sell-off, all but two sectors fell into the red. Construction and REIT stocks eked out mild gains while the leading decliners were the healthcare, telco and energy sectors.

Among the most hard-sold blue chips, Maxis fell six sen to RM3.47, Telekom Malaysia dropped four sen to RM6.72, Kuala Lumpur Kepong slid 18 sen to RM20.50, PETRONAS Chemicals dipped 10 sen ot RM6.42 and MISC shed eight sen to RM8.47.

Of actives, YNH Property fell 10 sen to RM50.5 sen, MYEG slid four sen to 98 sen and SBH Marine rose 2.5 sen to 34.5 sen.

In regional markets, key incides were also mostly lower. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng led the decline after falling 2% to 17,721 while Japan’s Nikkei shed 1.08% to 39,239.

China’s composite index was down 0.51% to 2,957. Singapore’s Straits Times index rose 0.27% to 3,340.

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