KUALA LUMPUR: There was a slight rebound on the market on Thursday following the steep decline in the previous sessions when investors fled to the sidelines following Bank Negara's interest rate hike.
At 9.05am, the FBM KLCI was up 3.86 points to 1,424.71. There was an even market breadth of 99 gainers to 97 decliners.
Trading volume was 79.61 million shares valued at RM43.03mil.
According to analysts, the sell-off in the previous session could have been a knee-jerk reaction given that the market had expected and already priced in the 25 basis point increase in the overnight policy rate.
However, a further negative catalyst in the form of falling commodities prices also weighed on the market.
"Traders should watch closely on the Brent crude oil amid sliding commodity markets as market could be pricing in recession worries and the Brent oil is trading around the USD100 psychological level.
"Meanwhile, the CPO price violated below the key RM4,000 level, closing just below RM3,900 in anticipation of higher stockpiles in Malaysia, while the gold price extended its decline below USD1,750," said Malacca Securities Research.,
It added that it expects bargain-hunting activities following the mildly positive performance on Wall Street overnight, but that upside would be capped due to the falling commodities environment.
On the blue-chip index, financial services counters held firm with Maybank rising one sne to R8.63, Public Bank gaining two sen to RM4.41 and CIMB adding one sen to RM5.11.
PETRONAS Chemicals was also up three sen to RM8.68, after losing 47 sen or over 5% of its value in the previous session. Tenaga Nasional also shaved two sen to RM7.92 on expectation of softer demand for energy.
Sime Darby Plantation was up 11 sen to RM3.94 after yesterday's rout and Kuala Lumpur Kepong rebounded eight sen to RM20.10 but IOI dropped a further seven sen to RM3.69.
On the broader market, Main Market debutant Seng Fong topped the list with 52.58 million shares traded but was down 4.5 sen to 70.5 sen
Hibiscus Petroleum was second most heavily traded with 9.97 million shares as it continued its fall from retreating Brent crude prices, slumping five sen to 87.5 sen.
Rounding out the top three was DNeX with five million shares exchanging hands, staying unchanged at 75.5 sen.