Bursa Malaysia closes higher

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia finished higher today on gains by most blue-chip finance stocks and heavyweights, a dealer said.

The benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) ended at 1,746.81, up 2.61 points from yesterday's close of 1,744.20.

After opening 0.47 of-a-point easier at 1,743.73, the index moved within a 6.99-point range and hit an intra-day high of 1,749.31 and an intra-day low of 1,742.32.

On the broader market, gainers outpaced losers by 428 to 431, with 417 counters unchanged, 549 counters untraded and 21 others suspended.

Volume increased to 3.09 billion units valued at RM2.33 billion from the 2.59 billion units valued at RM2.13 billion on Wednesday.

President of the Malaysian Association of Technical Analysts, Nik Ihsan Raja Abdullah, told Bernama the upward trajectory, in line with most regional bourses, was supported by persistent buying momentum in index-linked counters, small-capitalised stocks and heavyweights led by Maybank.

Maybank stock rose one sen to RM9.16 with 10.30 million shares traded.

Gains in other heavyweights, PetGas, Genting and BAT, which soared 64 sen, 31 sen and RM1.50 to RM17.70, RM9.48 and RM39.86, respectively also contributed to the rise in the composite index.

He said most Asian bourses rallied today as investors reacted positively to the solid Wall Street performance overnight, optimism for a US tax proposal, and steady oil prices.

"The bullish Wall Street sparked appetite in the global stock markets with investors flocking to the emerging markets," he said, adding that the foreign funds buying were also seen in the local stock market.

Regionally, the Singapore Straits Times index rose 0.08% to 3,423.91, Hong Kong's Hang Seng improved 0.84% to 29,150.97 and Shanghai Composite Index added 0.36% to 3,427.79.

Nik Ihsan said the FBM KLCI has room to grow beyond 1,751.5 level in the near term and this would boost the local market sentiment.

The FBM Emas Index increased 18.42 points to 12,598.46, FBMT 100 Index gained 17.62 points to 12,236.58, FBM Emas Shariah Index climbed 2.17 points to 13,036.10, FBM 70 advanced 19.99 points to 15,520.30 and the FBM Ace bagged 31.75 points to 6,842.16.

Sector-wise, the Plantation Index was 22.88 points better at 8,023.79, Industrial Index gained 24.73 points to 3,207.10 and the Finance Index increased 21.71 points to 16,240.27.

Among heavyweights, Tenaga, Public Bank and Sime Darby were flat at RM14.90, RM20.46 and RM9.06, respectively, Petronas Chemicals fell seven sen to RM7.40 and CIMB rose three sen to RM6.21.

Of the actives, PUC added two sen to 21 sen, Key Alliance rose 4.5 sen to 22 sen, Ho Wah and Trive increased one sen each to seven sen and nine sen, respectively.

The Main Market volume fell to 1.82 billion units worth RM2.11 billion compared with Wednesday's 1.83 billion units worth RM2.02 billion.

Volume on the ACE Market increased to 1.04 billion shares valued at RM190.03 million from 504.32 million shares valued at RM92.18 million yesterday.

Warrants volume eased to 201.65 million units worth RM26.74 million from Wednesday's 254.26 million units worth RM23.91 million.

Consumer products accounted for 70.37 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products (557.19 million), construction (108.36 million), trade and services (630.21 million), technology (275.90 million), infrastructure (5.42 million), SPAC (2.60 million), finance (40.04 million), hotels (3.33 million), properties (125.17 million), plantations (18.17 million), mining (80,000), REITs (8.12 million), and closed/fund (12,000). — Bernama