ECB, Fed rate cut hopes lift equities markets, including Bursa Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Expectations of monetary easing by major central banks such as the European Central Bank (ECB) and the US Federal Reserve (Fed) have boosted most equities markets, including Bursa Malaysia.

At today’s close, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) was almost flat, after recovering earlier losses, to end 0.27 of-a-point or 0.016% higher at 1,655.67 versus 1,655.40 recorded on Monday.

The top gainers among heavyweights and blue chips included Sime Darby Plantation, which jumped 12 sen to RM4.78, Genting Malaysia (+9.0 sen to RM3.45), Tenaga (+8.0 sen to RM13.82) and Axiata rose three sen to RM5.13.

These counters contributed a combined 3.65 points to the composite index.

The benchmark index opened 0.67 of-a-point lower at 1,654.73, and moved between 1,654.02 and 1,658.35.

Gainers led losers by 462 to 369, while 386 counters were unchanged, 671 untraded and 16 others suspended.

Turnover rose to 2.77 billion units worth RM2.01 billion from 2.65 billion units worth RM1.54 billion recorded yesterday.

A dealer said although the expectations of interest rate cuts by the ECB and the Fed had already been factored into most equities markets, the positive sentiment are still in play.

“The Fed will likely cut its interest rate by 25 or 50 basis points for the first time since 2008 during its upcoming two-day Federal Open Market Committee beginning July 30, while the ECB has indicated it will cut rates by 10 basis points this Thursday.

“We are seeing investors responding well to these key decisions,” the dealer said.

He also said higher crude oil prices following heightened tensions in the Middle East would also lend support to the market.

Regionally, Singapore’s Straits Times Index rose 0.47% to 3,373.13, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.34% to 28,466.48, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.95% to 21,620.88.

Among other heavyweights, Maybank was flat at RM8.82, Public Bank lost eight sen to RM22.80 and PChem slipped one sen to RM7.69.

As for the actives, Netx and KNM were both flat at 1.5 sen and 36.5 sen, respectively, while Excel Force rose five sen to 70.5 sen.

The FBM Emas Index added 5.21 points to 11,775.65, the FBMT 100 Index gained 1.69 points to 11,599.13 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index advanced 10.13 points to 12,167.29.

The FBM 70 inched up 1.32 points to 14,893.27 and the FBM Ace was up by 46.84 points to 4,750.17.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index decreased 29.31 points to 16,504.52, the Industrial Products and Services Index eased 0.35 of-a-point to 155.80 but Plantation Index was 24.61 points higher at 6,809.45.

Main Market volume was higher at 1.82 billion shares worth RM1.83 billion from 1.67 billion shares worth RM1.36 billion recorded yesterday.

Warrants turnover decreased to 410.86 million units worth RM84.42 million versus 451.21 million units worth RM89.17 million.

Volume on the ACE Market improved to 536.22 million shares worth RM97 million against 525.33 million shares worth RM91.17 million.

Consumer products and services accounted for 239.17 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (169.21 million), construction (145.40 million), technology (316.04 million), SPAC (nil), financial services (36.42 million), property (85.11 million), plantation (15.74 million), REITs (9.89 million), closed/fund (1,800), energy (496.39 million), healthcare (15.04 million), telecommunications and media (224.76 million), transportation and logistics (53.20 million), and utilities (14.48 million).

The physical price of gold as at 5.00pm stood at RM181.59 per gramme, down 70 sen from RM182.29 at 5.00pm yesterday. Bernama