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Trade optimism, UK election bolster Bursa to end higher

13 Dec 2019 / 18:53 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia ended higher for the third straight day, underpinned by fresh hopes for progress after news that the US has agreed in principle to the terms of a phase one trade deal with China and the resounding win by Conservatives in the UK election.

At 5pm, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) increased 3.82 points to 1,571.16, led by gains in heavyweights led by Petronas Chemicals (PChem) and Petronas Gas.

The index, which opened 9.17 points better at 1,576.51 versus 1,567.34 yesterday, saw some profit-taking activities in the last leg of trading, erasing some of the earlier gains.

The FBM KLCI moved between 1,571.16 and 1,579.23 throughout the day.

Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd head of research Pong Teng Siew said the market’s uptrend was in line with regional bourses after the latest trade development.

It was also reported that the US has agreed to the terms of a phase one trade deal with China, ahead of a Dec 15 deadline, when another tariff on US$160 billion (RM662 billion) of Chinese imports is due to take effect.

“This kind of trade agreement has settled some of the uncertainty, and this will allow the market to be more stable than before.

“Following this, markets are optimistic that the trade war won’t get worse from here,” he told Bernama.

Traders also cheered Britain’s ruling Conservative Party’s big election win that paves the way for Brexit.

The party, led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has won 363 seats in the House of Commons, according to results declared in 648 out of 650 constituencies.

Locally, Pong said the four new approved projects worth RM5.4 billion in the manufacturing sector have also helped to lift sentiment.

They include an investment worth RM2 billion by a multinational glass manufacturer to produce float glass and photovoltaic functional glass at the Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park, said the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti).

For the first nine months of 2019, Malaysia recorded RM149 billion worth of approved investments in the services, manufacturing and primary sectors.

Among heavyweights, PChem was 17 sen higher at RM7.20, while Petronas Gas rose 54 sen to RM16.94.

“Petronas released the petroleum industry outlook for 2020-2022 which provided a bit of a backdrop for those trading around the oil and gas stocks.

“Petronas stocks are also a major component of the FBM KLCI, so it’s not surprising when the index bounced back strongly that you see a good performance for the counters,” he said.

In the report, Petronas said many of its sharing contracts are due for re-tendering in the 2020-2022 period, and this would be an opportune time for players to strategise on resources, new technology offerings, and strategic partnerships.

CIMB expanded seven sen to RM5.25 and Hong Leong Bank was 26 sen higher at RM17.02.

Of the actives, Ekovest added 9.5 sen to 90.5 sen and Iskandar Waterfront rose 11.5 sen to RM1.02 following news that the IWH CREC consortium, a joint venture between Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd (IWH) and China Railway Group Ltd (CREC), will hold a signing ceremony for the Bandar Malaysia development next Tuesday.

Market breadth was positive with 493 gainers and 390 losers, with 364 counters unchanged, 733 untraded and 18 others suspended.

Volume rose to 2.94 billion units worth RM2.51 billion from 2.49 billion units worth RM2.12 billion on Thursday.

The FBM Emas Index added 28.55 points to 11,187.24 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index rose 41.84 points to 11,834.97, while the FBMT 100 Index went up 26.62 points to 10,985.80.

The FBM Ace expanded 17.27 points to 4,992.93 and the FBM 70 was 33.58 points better at 14,019.00.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index put on 58.90 points to 15,253.04, the Industrial Products and Services Index edged up 1.48 points to 152.14 and the Plantation Index declined 3.91 points to 7,496.41.

Main Market volume jumped to 2.20 billion shares worth RM2.36 billion from 1.82 billion shares worth RM1.98 billion.

Warrants turnover went up to 348.96 million units valued at RM50.27 billion versus 314.35 million units valued at RM44.35 million yesterday.

Volume on the ACE Market rose to 387.26 billion shares worth RM99.58 million vis-à-vis 360.03 million shares worth RM89.88 million.

Consumer products and services accounted for 269.28 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (300.65 million), construction (465.24 million), technology (132.13 million), SPAC (nil), financial services (50.95 million), property (295.90 million), plantations (90.99 million), REITs (81.69 million), closed/fund (3,000), energy (466.98 million), healthcare (10.76 million), telecommunications and media (28.89 million), transportation and logistics (41.74 million), and utilities (40.04 million).

The physical price of gold as at 5pm stood at RM189.57 per gramme, down 83 sen from RM190.40 at 5pm yesterday. — Bernama

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