Improved sentiment lifts Bursa Malaysia at midday

On the broader market, losers surpassed gainers 544 to 491, while 428 counters were unchanged, 633 untraded and 13 others suspended. — Reuters pic
On the broader market, losers surpassed gainers 544 to 491, while 428 counters were unchanged, 633 untraded and 13 others suspended. — Reuters pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 19 — Broad-based gains in selected heavyweights continued to lift Bursa Malaysia at the end of the morning trading session, underpinned by improved sentiment among traders.

Market sentiment was boosted by the prime minister’s announcement on the RM15 billion Malaysian Economic and Rakyat’s Protection Assistance Package (PERMAI) yesterday, as well as optimism surrounding the United States’ president-elect Joseph Biden’s inauguration tomorrow.

At 12.30pm, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) rose 2.78 points to 1,612.3 compared with 1,609.52 at yesterday’s close.

The index opened 1.54 points higher at 1,611.06 and moved between 1,610.09 and 1,618.41 throughout the session.

However, on the broader market, losers surpassed gainers 544 to 491, while 428 counters were unchanged, 633 untraded and 13 others suspended.

Total volume stood at 4.23 billion units worth RM2.52 billion.

Axi chief global markets strategist Stephen Innes said global investors’ optimism on Biden’s inauguration is a clear signal that the market is leaning towards an early stamp of approval on the Biden administration’s policy agenda.

“And rightly so, as Biden has put together one of the strongest teams in recent memory, and economic and foreign policy experts could not be keener to work with this administration,” he said.

Regionally, Japan’s Nikkei increased 1.47 per cent to 28,656.17, Singapore’s Straits Times Index improved 0.49 per cent to 3,005.08, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was up 3.06 per cent to 29,746.17.

Meanwhile, in the local bourse, heavyweights Maybank added nine sen to RM8.17, PetChem added 13 sen to RM7.41, and Public Bank was flat at RM20.98.

Conversely, Tenaga eased four sen to RM10.04 and Top Glove receded seven sen to RM6.27.

Of the actives, Vsolar and QES Group were flat at four sen and 35.5 sen, respectively, while PA Resources improved half-a-sen to 18 sen.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index gained 13.32 points to 11,642.28, the FBMT 100 Index expanded 13.93 points to 11,369.74, and the FBM Emas Shariah Index improved 0.59 of-a-point to 13,172.39.

The FBM 70 eased 3.77 points to 14,864.29 and the FBM ACE was 20.89 points better at 10,909.26.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index climbed 55.06 points to 14,857.3, the Industrial Products and Services Index inched up 0.81 of-a-point to 179.05 and the Plantation Index improved 40.06 points to 7,339.37. — Bernama

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