Regional Bourses Retreated in Red As Investors’ Sentiment Weighed Down By Major Central Banks’ Rate Decision

Kuala Lumpur, January 31 – Influenced by downward pressure on the regional bourses, the local stock market ended in bearish note on Tuesday with the benchmark FBM KLCI tumbled 13.89 points or -0.93% at 1,485.50.

The KLCI just perked beneath the 1,490-point plateau as it finds strong resistance at 1500 point level. With the selling pressure heaped on the selected heavyweights such as the oil and gas, consumer staples, financials, telecommunication.

Meanwhile, the positive assurance from the IMF (International Monetary Fund) by revising its forecast GDP growth for China this year has little effects on the Asian stock markets, as the regional peers tumbled in red. Investors’ sentiment remains cautious ahead of the top-tier data and central bank (Federal Reserve, The European Central Bank and Bank of England) meetings.

Weighing on the investors’ mood would be the recently firmer US data and IMF’s fears over inflation seem to weigh on the market sentiment.

The IMF just raised its global growth estimates while saying that the emerging markets’ growth slowdown bottomed out in 2022. Its revision of forecast growth rate upward is attributed to the backdrop of a slight increase in the 2023 global growth outlook helped by “surprisingly resilient” demand in the United States and Europe, an easing of energy costs and the reopening of China’s economy after Beijing abandoned its strict COVID-19 restrictions.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) of China just released the purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for manufacturing sector came in at 50.1 in January, up from 47 in last December, returning to expansion territory for the first time since September 2022.

While the non-manufacturing PMI, which measures business sentiment in the services and construction sectors, rose to 54.4 in January from 41.6 in December, reaching the highest level since June.

** The FTSE BM KLCI opened at 1,493.79. The index fluctuated between 1,486.83- 1,493.89

** 326 counters are gainers, 389 counters are unchanged, while 632 counters are decliners.

** Total volume of 4.033 billion shares changed hands; while Turnover of RM 2.779 billion

** The Top 5 Gainers: F&N (24.80, +0.58); RAPID (16.28, +0.36); BKAWAN (22.80, +0.24); DIN040000223 (101.70, +0.20); HEIM (28.00, +0.20)

** The Top 5 Losers: PETDAG (21.80, -1.08); NESTLE (135.20, -0.80); PETGAS (16.82, -0.78); MPI (33.18, -0.72); HLBANK (20.52, -0.68)

** The Top 5 Active: VLB (0.39, +0.06); BORNOIL (0.02, 0.00); G3 (0.03, 0.00); ZENTECH (0.065, 0.00); SAPNRG (0.05, 0.00)

Singapore’s Straits Times Index (STI) down 14.59 points or -0.43% to 3,363.70; Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index (HSI) skidded 227.40 points or -1.03% at 21,842.33; Japan’s Nikkei 225 index dropped 106.29 points or -0.39% at 27,327.11; Shanghai’s SSE Composite Index shed 13.65 points or -0.42% at 3,255.67; Korea’s Kospi Index declined 25.39 points or -1.04% at 2,425.08; Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 5 points or -0.07% at 7476.70.

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