Bursa Malaysia opens firmer amid US-China trade optimism

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia resumed its long-weekend break on a firm note this morning as risk appetite improved following the upbeat tone on US-China trade talks and optimism over US interest rate cuts.

At 9.03am, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) rose 2.45 points to 1,572.45 from Friday’s close of 1,570. The key index opened 3.16 points better at 1,573.16.

Bursa Malaysia and its subsidiaries were closed yesterday in lieu of the Deepavali public holiday which fell on Oct 27.

Asia Pacific Market strategist Stephen Innes said the local unit continued to trade stably supported by calming trade talk rhetoric and anticipation that the US Federal Reserve would cut interest rates again this week.

However, appetite is not exactly overflowing as regional economies are expected to suffer the knock-on effect from a slowing Chinese economy, he said.

“While phase one of the trade deal is good for sentiment, traders remain sceptical about any removal of existing tariffs which is critical to turn the economic tide in Asia.

“And without the withdrawal, a simple tariff detente suggests things might not get worse but doesn’t necessarily mean macroeconomic conditions improve either,” he told Bernama.

On Monday, US President Donald Trump said the phase one of the China trade deal is ‘ahead of schedule’ and this had sent global equities into a rally, with the S&P 500 hitting a record high.

“We are looking probably to be ahead of schedule to sign a very big portion of the China deal, and we’ll call it phase one but it’s a very big portion,” Trump said.

Back home, the overall market breadth on Bursa was positive as gainers trounced losers 192 to 51 with 218 counters unchanged, 1,536 untraded and 20 others suspended.

Turnover amounted to 108.86 million shares worth RM41.01 million.

Among heavyweights, Maybank added two sen to RM8.45, Tenaga and Public Bank gained six sen each to RM13.90 and RM19.32 respectively, while Petronas Chemicals and CIMB perked five sen each to RM7.49 and RM5.00.

IHH Healthcare, however, eased four sen to RM5.68.

Of the actives, Velesto added one sen to 37.5 sen, Luster Industries inched up half-a-sen to 7.5 sen and IFCA went up 1.5 sen to 45.5 sen, but Asia Media slipped 7.5 sen to six sen.

The FBM 70 rose 51.66 points to 14,027.86, the FBMT 100 Index improved 22.65 points to 10,994.29 and the FBM Ace advanced 36.18 points to 4,907.29.

The FBM Emas Index garnered 24.18 points to 11,184.63 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index was 20.6 points higher at 11,819.18.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index grew 42.45 points to 15,188.8, the Industrial Products & Services Index was 0.64 point better at 153.73 but the Plantation Index erased 14.4 points to 6,621.51. - Bernama