KUALA LUMPUR, Apr 20 – Bursa Malaysia reversed yesterday’s downtrend to close firmer today with interest mostly spotted in index-linked counters and banking-related stocks prompted by improved regional sentiment. At 5pm, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) finished 2.66 points higher at 1,741.61 against yesterday’s close of 1,738.95.
The key index, which opened 1.05 points weaker at 1,737.9, hovered between 1,736.4 and 1,743.56 throughout the day. RHB Bank, was the largest contributor to the rise in the composite index, accounting for 1.09 points. The stock soared 16 sen to RM5.28 with 836,000 shares transacted.
Among other banks, Maybank gained three sen to RM9.08, AMMB rose 10 sen to RM5.03, CIMB increased two sen to RM5.50 and Hong Leong chalked up 12 sen to RM16.18. A dealer said the rebound in crude oil prices, coupled with Japan’s stronger-than-expected exports in March had sparked positive sentiment in the region.
Meanwhile, Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd Head of Research Pong Teng Siew said easing political tensions related to Syria and North Korea prompted buying in Asian bourses despite the sluggish overnight Wall Street performance which normally influenced the trading pattern in Asia.
“It was quite an unexpected turn. I believe the easing geopolitical tension has helped reduce investors’ worries,” he told Bernama. Pong said the support level for tomorrow could be between 1,727 and 1,736 while the resistance level may be confined within 1,744 and 1,750.
The overall market breadth was positive with gainers trouncing losers 498 to 368 while 395 counters were unchanged, 489 untraded and 17 others were suspended. Volume slipped to 2.64 billion units, worth RM2.24 billion, from 2.85 billion units, valued RM2.19 billion, registered yesterday.
Among heavyweights, Tenaga rose eight sen to RM13.80, Sime Darby added one sen to RM9.26 but Petronas Chemicals fell six sen to RM7.52. Public Bank, which posted a slightly lower first quarter pre-tax profit, saw its shares close unchanged from yesterday’s RM19.92. A total of 2.43 million shares were transacted.
For actives, Key Alliance shed one sen to 8.5 sen, ANZO slipped three sen to 33 sen but Malayan United inched up half-a-sen to 24 sen. The FBM Emas Index rose 17.27 points to 12,398.27, the FBMT100 Index increased 14.29 points to 12,035.47, the FBM 70 gained 1.94 points to 14,654.19, the FBM Ace chalked up 53.51 points to 6,095.84 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index improved 9.94 points to 12,812.25.
Sector-wise, the Finance Index jumped 96.02 points to 15,777.28, the Plantation Index advanced 11.88 points to 8,003.55 but the Industrial Index gave up 6.99 points to 3,211.42. Main Market turnover slipped to 1.77 million units, worth RM2.12 billion, from 1.78 million units valued at RM2.05 billion, registered on Wednesday.
Volume on the ACE Market shrank to 667.29 million shares, worth RM95.46 million, from yesterday’s 900.25 million shares valued at RM117.17 million. Warrants expanded to 200.31 million units, worth RM23.92 million, from 160.27 million units, valued at RM22.82 million.
Consumer products accounted for 96.33 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products (520.46 million), construction (102.04 million), trade and services (552.57 million), technology (118.52 million), infrastructure (9.67 million), SPAC (1.26), finance (100.85 million), hotels (4.39 million), properties (239.17 million), plantations (22.99 million), mining (nil), REITs (4.7 million) and closed/fund (26,000). The physical price of gold as at 5pm stood at RM175.06 per gramme, down 38 sen from RM175.44 at 5pm yesterday. — Bernama