KUALA LUMPUR: The domestic market rebounded on the heels of the previous day's sharp losses as investors calmed following the US Federal Reserve chairman's remarks, which reiterated the central bank's commitment to bringing down inflation.
Despite the bounce, however, analysts believe the hawkish comments, coupled with Powell's acknowledgement there is a possibility the rate hikes will push the economy into a recession, will only reinforce the downside in equities.
"We believe the sentiment will remain negative-bias as investors mulled the US Fed Chairman’s testimony on the commitment in interest rate hikes to tame inflation, while eyeing Malaysia’s and Japan’s inflation rate tomorrow.
"Nevertheless, the oversold stocks may still look attractive for bargain hunting activities," said Malacca Securities Research in a note.
At 9.05am, the FBM KLCI was up 9.07 points to 1,440.17. There were 132 gainers on the market compared with 94 decliners for an overall positive breadth.
Trading volume was 131.97 million shares valued at RM56.02mil.
Bank stocks were mixed as recession fears took confidence out of the financial sector. Public Bank rose two sen to RM4.42 although Hong Leong Bank slipped six sen to RM20.54 while Maybank remained unchanged at RM8.60.
While Brent crude futures continues to fall, Bursa Malaysia's oil and gas sector bounced back slightly following the previous session's sell-off.
Petronas Gas rose 14 sen to RM16.42, Petronas Chemicals gained five sen to RM9.35 while lower liners such as Petron Malaysia added four sen to RM5.54 while Hengyuan Refining edged one sen higher to RM4.57.
Among actives ACE Market debutant YX Precious Metals rose one sen to 29 sen, Dataprep gained 1.5 sen to 20.5 sen and Green Packet added one sen to seven sen.