Equities trade lower as investor optimism fades

KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI slipped in morning trade in tandem with regional markets as the optimism seen on Wall Street overnight faded amid concerns over persistent inflation.

At 12.30pm, the key index was down 10.72 points to 1,447.16. The market turned negative with 489 decliners compared with 276 gainers.

Trading volume was 1.52 billion shares valued at RM775.13mil.

Bule chips were mostly lower with Sime Darby Plantation dropping 14 sen to RM4.28 and IHH sliding nine sen to RM6.40.

Bank stocks continued their retreat led by CIMB shaving six sen to RM4.90, Hong Leong Bank falling 28 sen to RM20.62, Maybank sliding two sen to RM8.63 and Public Bank dropping two sen to RM4.45.

Brent crude futures dove 3.37% to US$110.79 a barrel as worries over an impending recession took a bit out of investor appetite.

Oil and gas counters on Bursa Malaysia followed suit, losing 1.1% in morning trade. Notable laggards were Petron Malaysia losing 17 sen to RM5.66 and Hengyuan Refining sliding 15 sen to RM4.55.

Top actives were MNC up 0.5 sen to two sen, TWL down 0.5 sen to seven sen and Lay Hong up 4.5 sen to 31.5 sen.

In major Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.2%, South Korea’s Kospi dove 1.9% and China’s composite index slid 0.3%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 1.25% while Australia’s ASX200 slipped 0.1%.

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