KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia opened on a low note on Thursday, taking its cue from Wall Street's weaker performance overnight.
At 9.25 am, the benchmark FBM KLCI eased 3.73 points to 1,408.31 from Wednesday's close of 1,412.04, after opening 5.07 points easier at 1406.97.
In the broader market, decliners outpaced gainers 242 to 153, while 254 counters were unchanged, 1,624 untraded and seven others suspended.
Turnover stood at 549.71 million units worth RM190.02 million.
In a note today, Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd expects the negative sentiment due to the weaker Wall Street performance to spill over to the regional benchmark indices and local bourse, following the interest rate hike by the United States (US) Federal Reserve and the "blanket insurance" statement on depositors from US Treasury secretary Janet Yellen.
"We expect to see another broad-based selldown, especially in the technology sector following the slump in Wall Street overnight.
"Investors may brace for more volatility and are likely to choose to increase their exposure in the defensive sectors such as consumer, telco and utilities," added the brokerage.
Meanwhile, Bursa heavyweights IHH Healthcare added one sen to RM5.89 and Hong Leong Bank advanced 16 sen to RM20.26, while CIMB and CelcomDigi were flat at RM5.20 and RM4.26, respectively, and both Maybank and Petronas Chemicals fell four sen each to RM8.51 and RM6.75, respectively.
Among the actives, Niche Capital inched up half-a-sen to 16 sen, and both Hong Seng Consolidated and Jade Marvel were flat at 13.5 sen and 31 sen, respectively, while Zen Tech dwindled half-a-sen to 2.5 sen and AirAsia X trimmed three sen to RM1.44.
On the index board, the FBM Emas Index shaved off 17.61 points to 10,305.13, the FBMT 100 Index shed 17.68 points to 9,998.92, and the FBM Emas Shariah Index slid 1.97 points to 10,624.40.
The FBM 70 Index climbed 13.04 points to 13,302.17, and the FBM ACE Index contracted 17.62 points to 5,284.06.
Sector-wise, the Energy Index added 1.63 points to 807.72, the Financial Services Index shrank 54.32 points to 15,592.68, the Plantation Index went down 5.77 points to 6,743.41, and the Industrial Products and Services Index reduced by 0.39 of-a-point to 166.32.