KUALA LUMPUR: Investor sentiment on Bursa Malaysia turned tepid on Wednesday as the US Federal Open Market Committee meeting is set to take place later in the day to determine the pace of rate hikes.
At 9.05am, the FBM KLCI was down 7.44 points to 1,473.84, keeping the index at 18-month lows.
There were 147 decliners to 102 gainers, giving the overall market a negative breadth.
Malacca Securities Research noted that invetor sentiment remains soft as the cautious performance on Wall Street overnight reflected the prevailing anxieties ahead of the US FOMC.
In addition, the recent South Korea strike could further impact the global supply chain of chip productions, it said in a note.
"While market sentiment may remain cautious, investors may look out for bargain hunting opportunities in REITs, consumer, and banking stocks.
"Meanwhile, traders may lookout for trading opportunities within the O&G sector as the crude oil price remains elevated above USD120 zone," it added.
Among blue chips, Press Metal fell 12 sen to RM4.86 while Nestle slid RM1.70 to RM133.70 and IHH dipped four sen to RM6.26.
Petronas Chemicals held stead at RM9.66 following the rise in Brent crude prices while Petronas Gas dropped 16 sen to RM16.38.
Among actives, Sapura Energy was flat at 4.5 sen, Unitrade dropped 1.5 sen to 28.5 sen and LGS was up 3.5 sen to 81.5 sen.