KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia opened higher on Friday on positive sentiment after the latest US Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures showed inflation in the United States has continued to decline, spurring hopes for softer interest rates going forward.
At 9.05 am, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) improved by 2.54 points to 1,491.20 from yesterday's close of 1,488.66.
The market bellwether opened 0.61 point better at 1,488.05.
In the broader market, gainers surpassed decliners 175 to 97, while 211 counters were unchanged, 1,719 untraded, and 20 others suspended.
Turnover amounted to 200.73 million units worth RM85.27 million.
The US consumer price index fell 0.1 per cent in December, meeting expectations, for the biggest drop since April 2020.
Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd vice-president of equity research Thong Pak Leng noted that the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 217 points while the Nasdaq jumped by almost 70 points as the US 10-year yield eased further to around 3.44 per cent.
Back home, he reckons that buyers should return to the stock market on the back of the cooling US inflation, which also saw the ringgit strengthening against the US dollar today.
"As such, we expect consumer product and energy stocks to continue to trend higher as Brent crude continues to rise. It closed at almost US$83.90 per barrel on the back of a weaker US dollar," he told Bernama.
Among the heavyweights, CIMB edged up three sen to RM5.78, while Tenaga Nasional and Telekom added five sen to RM9.45 and RM5.18, respectively. Sime Darby Bhd rose four sen to RM2.31 and Maybank gained two sen to RM8.82.
As for the actives, Serba Dinamik, Zen Tech International, and Hong Seng perked up half-a-sen to 1.5 sen, three sen, and 15.5 sen, respectively. Nationagate Holdings increased seven sen to RM1.07 while Artroniq declined 2.5 sen to 84 sen.
On the index board, the FBM Emas Index expanded 21.42 points to 10,764.18, the FBMT 100 Index strengthened 20.25 points to 10,461.33, and the FBM Emas Shariah Index climbed 28.59 points to 10,973.44.
The FBM 70 Index grew 36.16 points to 13,377.63 and the FBM ACE Index pushed up 39.25 points to 5,467.88.
Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index earned 16.03 points to 16,553.72 and the Industrial Products and Services Index inched up 0.14 of-a-point to 183.95.
The Plantation index ticked up 21.08 points to 6,943.70 and the Energy Index garnered 4.62 points to 820.89.