Bursa Malaysia closes stronger on better corporate earnings optimism

An investor monitors share market prices at a brokerage firm in Kuala Lumpur August 24, 2015. — Reuters pic
An investor monitors share market prices at a brokerage firm in Kuala Lumpur August 24, 2015. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 14 — Share prices on Bursa Malaysia closed stronger today, backed by optimism that 2018 fourth quarter corporate earnings results will be better after Malaysia recorded a Gross Domestic Product growth of 4.7 per cent for the fourth quarter of 2018 and the whole year, a dealer said.

At 5 pm, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) finished at 1,689.06, up 3.76 points, from Tuesday’s close of 1,687.41.

The index opened 0.32 of-a-point firmer at 1,687.73 and moved between 1,682.81 and 1,689.06 throughout the day.

Bank Islam chief economist Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said GDP growth accelerated for the first time since the third quarter of 2017, ending a streak of four quarters of slow growth.

However, he said Bank Negara Malaysia’s Quarterly Bulletin was dovish in their monetary stance while the Monetary Policy Committee felt the balance of risks was tilted on the downside, suggesting challenging economic prospects in 2019.

“Technically speaking, the FBM KLCI is in the neutral zone, implying that the index will likely remain timid. Perhaps, markets are awaiting corporate earnings announcements to be made for the fourth quarter of 2018 by the end of this month,” he told Bernama.

Among heavyweights, Maybank and CIMB were flat at RM9.55 and RM5.78, respectively.

Public Bank eased two sen to RM24.94, TNB shed four sen to RM13.02 and Petronas Chemicals slipped one sen to RM8.47.

Of actives, Sapura Energy gained three sen to 30.5 sen, Bumi Armada and KNM climbed two sen each to 24.5 sen and 11 sen, respectively, Hibiscus perked 6.5 sen to RM1.06 and Barakah added half-a-sen to 14.5 sen.

Market breadth was positive with 463 gainers and 359 losers while 381 counters remained unchanged, 650 untraded and 35 others were suspended.

Total volume rose to 3.88 billion units valued at RM2.28 billion from Wednesday’s 2.63 billion units valued at RM1.87 billion.

The FBM Emas Index increased 31.271 points to 11,745.57, the FBMT 100 Index rose 28.01 points to 11,606.41 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index jumped 47.01 points to 11,624.21.

The FBM 70 rose 42.62 points to 13,986.84 while the FBM Ace Index eased 6.46 points to 4,640.86.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index erased 10.09 points to 17,719.56, the Plantation Index retracted 10.44 points to 7,288.07 while the Industrial Products and Services Index added 0.26 of-a-point to 162.73.

Main Market volume rose to 3.09 billion shares, valued at RM2.11 billion, from Wednesday’s 1.88 billion shares worth RM1.7 billion.

Warrants’ turnover widened to 497.67 million units, worth RM108.6 million, from 477.65 million units valued at RM110.55 million transacted yesterday.

Volume on the ACE Market expanded to 293.46 million shares, valued at RM61.14 million, from 269.16 million shares, worth RM61.34 million, recorded yesterday.

Consumer products and services accounted for 239.75 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (384.43 million), construction (127.61 million), technology (299.23 million), SPAC (nil), financial services (40.46 million), property (96.38 million), plantations (27.19 million), REITs (8.76 million), closed/fund (101,200), energy (1.72 billion), healthcare (21.58 million), telecommunications and media (65.89 million), transportation and logistics (32.76 million), and utilities (24.06 million). — Bernama