KLCI marginally higher on anticipation of US Fed decision on interest rates

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 28): The FBMKLCI traded 2.53 points or 0.14% higher today to settle at 1825.68 points at market close, as investors are largely choosing to stay on the sidelines pending the conclusion of the US Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting on Wednesday on the direction of the US interest rates, which is expected to be left unchanged.

“We see that the KLCI is trading sideways today as investors are taking the “wait and see” approach, as the US takes its time on deciding its interest rates policy. I think that this trend will continue for the next few days,” said an analyst with a local investment bank.

He added that the market will stay in a “sluggish mood”, even though speculation and anticipation of US Federal Reserve policies have lasted for months.

“The spotlight will be on the US and October is sort of a deadline for the interest rate policy decision. Investors will only take their position as to whether they will increase or decrease their commitment to the local market, once the decision is out. Until then, there will not be much activity,” he explained.

Despite the benchmark index being relatively muted, Bursa Malaysia still witnessed some 1.6 billion shares traded, with a total value of RM 1.8 billion.

Decliners outnumbered gainers by 529 to 284, indicating a bearish sentiment among investors. There were 274 unchanged counters.  

Among the top gainers were Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd and Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd.

The decliners’ table was topped by Malaysia Airport Holdings Bhd, Warisan TC Holdings Bhd and Batu Kawan Bhd.

The bourse’s most actively-traded stocks today were a collection of penny stocks. IFCA MSC Bhd, formerly picked by TheEdge Markets Analytics under its “stocks with momentum”, as well as its warrants, were among the most actively-traded today.

Regionally, South Korea’s Kospi and Japan’s Nikkei both declined by 0.33% and 0.38%, respectively. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was brighter, as it gained 1.62% today.