Bursa opens higher

The Bursa Malaysia benchmark index is lifted by broad demand spurred on by Wall Street gains. — Bernama pic
The Bursa Malaysia benchmark index is lifted by broad demand spurred on by Wall Street gains. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 18 — Shares on Bursa Malaysia opened higher due to better buying demand across-the-board as market sentiment was lifted by strong gains in US stocks.

At 9.36am, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) stood at 1,694.28, up 5.45 points from Friday's close of 1,688.83.

The index opened 5.09 points firmer at 1,693.92.

In a note, Public Investment Bank Bhd said higher US stocks lifted the FBM KLCI as investors kept faith that Beijing and Washington would still manage to avert an escalation in the trade war between the world’s two biggest economies.

Public Investment Bank said during the week, the FBM KLCI is anticipated to extend its sideways trajectory, ranging between 1,700 and 1,680 marks.

On Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 gained 1.1 per cent, the highest daily increase so far in February, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 1.7 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.6 per cent.

“After US and Chinese trade negotiators held the first substantial talks this week in several months, the two sides would meet again this week in Washington,” it added.

Among heavyweights, Maybank added three sen to RM9.50, Public Bank gained six sen to RM24.98 and Tenaga was flat at RM13.04.

Of actives, Sapura Energy was one sen better at 31.5 sen, while Borneo Oil and Eduspec Holdings each rose half-a-sen to five sen and 3.5 sen, respectively.

The FBM Emas Index increased 44.22 points to 11,794.49, the FBM Emas Shariah Index went up 41.62 points to 11,705.22 and the FBMT 100 rose 41.81 points to 11,654.72.

The FBM Ace Index was 39.37 points higher at 4,685.96 and the FBM 70 rose 68.35 points to 14,096.55.

Sectorwise, the Financial Services Index was up 53.35 points at 17,685.92, the Plantation Index edged-up 1.06 points to 7,336.49 and the Industrial Products and Services Index was 0.15 of-a-point higher at 163.28.

Market breadth was positive with gainers outpacing losers 324 to 131, while 245 counters were unchanged, 1,166 untraded and 33 others suspended.

Turnover stood at 601.50 million shares worth RM213.17 million. — Bernama