KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 — Bursa Malaysia ended the morning session higher today, tracking the uptrend in regional peers as improving crude oil prices fuelled risk appetite in the market.
At 12.30pm, benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) climbed 9.98 points, or 0.71 per cent to 1,413.42 from 1,403.44 at last Friday’s close.
The index opened 5.95 points firmer at 1,409.39.
Market breadth remained positive, with gainers outnumbering losers 542 to 304, while 373 counters were unchanged, 656 untraded and 17 others suspended.
Turnover shot up to 6.70 billion worth RM243.16 million, supported by buying interest in the low liners.
Regionally, Japan’s Nikkei Index increased 0.56 per cent to 20,149.12, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.40 per cent to 23,892.24 and Singapore’s Straits Times Index was 0.74 per cent higher at 2,542.12.
A dealer said the recovery in crude oil prices, which saw benchmark Brent Crude rising above US$33 per barrel from below US$20 per barrel recently, has restored market participants’ confidence.
Of the heavyweights, IOI Corp was 16 sen better at RM4.15, Petronas Chemicals increased 11 sen to RM5.67, Maybank and IHH advanced six sen each to RM7.46 and RM5.55 while Digi expanded seven sen to RM4.46.
The list of most active counters was dominated by oil and gas-linked counters, as Icon Offshore ticked up five sen to 12.5 sen, Bumi Armada added 6.5 sen to 26 sen, Velesto edged up three sen to 17 sen, KNM was six sen firmer at 24 sen and Hibiscus accumulated 6.5 sen to 64.5 sen.
Top gainer United Plantations strengthened 64 sen to RM26.20 while top loser Nestle gave up 50 sen to RM139.30.
On the index board, the FBM Emas Index soared 102.85 points to 9,970.91, the FBMT 100 Index jumped 95.05 points to 9,811.16, while the FBM Emas Shariah Index leapt 139.48 points to 11,273.53.
The FBM ACE rose 6.55 points to 5,396.65 and the FBM 70 surged 223.64 points to 12,215.06.
Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index increased 56.20 points to 12,323.41, the Industrial Products and Services Index inched up 1.14 points to 122.02 and the Plantation Index expanded 94.09 points to 6,291.25. — Bernama