Bursa Malaysia bucks regional trend to end higher

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia bucked the regional trend to end higher today, lifted by last minute buying in heavyweight stocks, led by Genting Malaysia and Petronas Chemicals, dealers said.

At close, the key FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) was 2.85 points higher at 1,772.48 after moving between 1,767.07 and 1,772.62 throughout the day.

It opened 0.80 of a point easier at 1,768.83 from from Tuesday's close of 1,769.63.

On the broader market, gainers and losers even out at 418 in each category, 372 counters remained unchanged, 626 untraded and 22 others suspended.

Volume fell to 2.21 billion units worth RM1.81 billion from 2.53 billion units valued at RM2.18 billion on Tuesday.

A dealer said most Asian stocks were dragged further into the red following the slip in US stocks, as concerns over the escalating tensions in the Korean peninsular continued to take the centre stage and weighed down market sentiment.

On the local front, Bursa Malaysia, which was traded mixed most of the trading hour, was lifted higher on last minute buying on selected heavyweight stocks.

Regionally, the Singapore Straits Times index slipped 0.71% to 3,228.30, Hong Kong's Hang Seng was 0.46% lower at 27,613.76, South Korea's Kospi shed 0.29% to 2,319.82, and Japan's Nikkei 225 slid 0.14% to 19,357.97.

Among heavyweights, Maybank added five sen to RM9.47, Tenaga gained two sen to RM14.40, Sime Darby rose seven sen to RM9.07 and Petronas Chemicals increased nine sen to RM7.39.

CIMB Group slid one sen to RM6.75, while Public Bank was flat at RM20.60.

Of actives, Sino Hua-An eased 1.5 sen to 19.5 sen, China Stationery and MLabs shed one sen each to six sen and 17 sen, respectively, while Frontken added two sen to 37 sen.

The FBM Emas Index was up 20.95 points at 12,614.26, the FBMT 100 Index added 19.04 points to 12,287.32, the FBM Ace gained 9.92 points to 6,586.73, the FBM 70 rose 20.58 points to 15,105.90, and the FBM Emas Syariah Index was 11.23 points higher at 12,803.68.

Sector-wise, the Plantation Index was 0.33 of a point easier at 7,849.88 and the Industrial Index slid 1.59 points to 3,197.30.

The Finance Index, however, increased 35.27 points to 16,632.81.

The Main Market volume decreased to 1.49 billion shares worth RM1.70 billion from 1.67 billion shares worth RM2.03 billion on Tuesday.

Volume on the ACE Market reduced to 562.32 million units valued at RM115.30 million versus Tuesday's 672 million units valued at RM123.32 million.

Warrants slipped to 136.69 million shares worth RM20.14 million from 155.24 million shares worth RM21.58 million yesterday.

Consumer products accounted for 168.64 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products (436.05 million), construction (89.05 million), trade and services (352.30 million), technology (77.85 million), infrastructure (6.26 million), SPAC (25.39 million), finance (46.02 million), hotels (3.33 million), properties (258.90 million), plantations (16.65 million), mining (704,000), REITs (10.38 million), and closed/fund (100).

The physical price of gold as at 5pm stood at RM176.66 per gramme, up 23 sen from RM176.43 at 5pm yesterday. — Bernama