Bursa Malaysia extends yesterday’s gains to open higher

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia extended yesterday’s gains to open higher today, supported by continued buying momentum in selected heavyweights despite the cautious sentiment in regional markets, dealers said.

At 9.15 am, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) gained 1.63 points to 1,497.85 from 1,496.22 at yesterday’s close.

The market bellwether opened 0.66 point better at 1,496.88.

In the broader market, gainers surpassed decliners 178 to 135, while 224 counters were unchanged, 1,655 untraded, and 10 others suspended.

Turnover amounted to 187.99 million units worth RM87.04 million.

Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd expected the sideways trend on the local bourse yesterday may turn negative biased prior to the Lunar New Year holidays after Wall Street extended its slide amid increasing concerns on softer economic activities going forward and the expectation of the US Federal Reserve’s tone to remain hawkish.

In a note today, it said the FBM KLCI eked out marginal gains on Thursday following the decision by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to maintain the overnight policy rate (OPR) at 2.75 per cent.

“Commodities wise, the Brent crude oil traded above US$86 per barrel, while the crude palm oil (CPO) price stayed above RM3,850 per kg,” it said.

According to the research firm, BNM’s decision to pause the OPR hike may trigger further profit-taking activities on the banking sector.

“Besides, the technology sector may tick lower following the decline on Wall Street. On the other hand, investors may favour the energy sector amid firmer crude oil price, while the consumer, tourism, aviation and REIT sectors could be taken as a proxy towards the recovery theme following the reopening of China’s borders,” it said.

Among the heavyweights, Maybank advanced one sen to RM8.81, Public Bank and Petronas Chemical were flat at RM4.29 and RM8.50 respectively, CIMB added six sen to RM5.75, while Tenaga Nasional shed three sen to RM9.47.

As for the actives, Velesto Energy slid half-a-sen to 20 sen, Reach Energy and CSH Alliance were flat at six sen and 6.5 sen respectively, Hibiscus Petroleum and ECA Integrated bagged three sen each to RM1.13 and RM1.01 respectively.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index perked 12.57 points to 10,825.27, the FBMT 100 Index strengthened by 12.60 points to 10,516.87, and the FBM Emas Shariah Index gained 4.25 points to 11,071.17.

The FBM 70 Index improved 21.25 points to 13,487.23 and the FBM ACE Index rose 9.83 points to 5,458.83.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index ticked up 24.31 points to 16,506.32, the Industrial Products and Services Index inched up 0.36 of-a-point to 188.20, the Plantation Index expanded 17.37 points to 6,842.95, and the Energy Index advanced 2.93 points to 842.90. – Bernama