KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia remained sideways in early trade as growing anxieties over inflation rates and rising Covid-19 cases on the global front are adding to the negative market sentiment.

At 9.10am, the FBM KLCI was down 0.14 point to 1,522.13 ahead of the release of Malaysia’s inflation rate later today.

Inflation rates have been in sharp focus of late as global markets reacted negatively to the reappointment of US Fed chairman Jerome Powell on speculation that this points to a hastening of US monetary policy tightening.

According to Malacca Securities Research, investors should also monitor Malaysia’s latest consumer price index as it will impact the market’s direction going forward.

It added that recovery theme stocks continue to receive buying interest ahead of the opening of the vaccinated travel lanes between Malaysia and Singapore on Nov 29, 2021.

In early morning trade, banks stocks helped to firm up an otherwise uncertain market. Maybank rose four sen to RM8.16, Public Bank added one sen to RM4.08, CIMB was flat at RM5.19 ad Hong Leong Bank was untraded.

IHH was the leading decliner, having dropped 12 sen to RM6.57. The healthcare group had seen a jump in its share price earlier in the week amid speculation over the potential sale of its China unit, Parkway China, in a US$1bil deal.

Meanwhile, companies with recent corporate earnings releases included SAM Engineering, which jumped RM1.08 to RM21.48, and MPI, which gained 42 sen to RM48.56.

Aeon, which posted a net loss in its third quarter results, slipped seven sen to RM1.37.

Most active counters were G3 up one sen to 14.5 sen, Dnonce rising 0.5 sen to 35.5 sen and Ages unchanged at 5.5 sen.

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