KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 12 — Bursa Malaysia closed higher for the second consecutive day today, with the benchmark index ending above the 1,500-psychological level, thanks to persistent buying support in selected heavyweights, especially banking and plantation counters.

The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) added 0.63 of-a-point to end the week at 1,506.19 compared with yesterday’s close of 1,505.56, as gains were limited by mild profit-taking.

The benchmark index, which opened 0.49 of-a-point weaker at 1,505.07 this morning, moved between 1,504.21 and 1,511.80 throughout the trading session.

Market breadth was positive with gainers leading losers 440 to 367, while 442 counters were unchanged, 1,034 untraded, and 24 others suspended.

Total turnover decreased to 2.08 billion units worth RM1.63 billion from 2.55 billion units worth RM1.97 billion yesterday.

Sime Darby Plantation was the biggest gainer among the 30 index-linked counters, putting on 1.98 per cent or nine sen to RM4.64, while CIMB was the largest contributor to the gains in the composite index after rising six sen to RM5.43.

Inter-Pacific Asset Management Sdn Bhd executive director and fund manager Datuk Nazri Khan Adam Khan said the market was dominated by foreign buying, mostly in banking stocks as inflation pressure from the United States eased.

“Bursa Malaysia is making a comeback with all sectoral indices showing positive trend. The lower liners are also making a comeback and the market breadth is very positive.

“We saw strong jump in foreign buying...and the market was also supported by retail and local institutions,” he told Bernama.

Nazri Khan also said the strong economic growth of 8.9 per cent in the second quarter of 2022 (Q2 2022) had partly lifted investors’ risk appetite today.

“This is the fastest pace in a year, with a very strong domestic demand. The message to the investors is that we will be able to sustain the recovery.”

Meanwhile, Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd vice-president of equity research Thong Pak Leng said the FBM KLCI failed to break the 1,510 resistance despite the stronger-than-expected Q2 2022 GDP growth due to some profit-taking during the late trading session.

“We reckon the benchmark index to possibly consolidate within the 1,500-1,515 range for next week,” he said, adding immediate resistance is located at 1,510 followed by 1,530, while support is at 1,480.

Among heavyweights, Maybank gained three sen to RM8.97, Petronas Chemicals perked up two sen to RM8.80, IHH Healthcare aded one sen to RM6.49, Tenaga rose five sen to RM8.63, Hong Leong Bank increased 10 sen to RM20.88, while Public Bank was flat at RM4.65.

Of the actives, Top Glove fell seven sen to 85.5 sen, Hartalega fell 28 sen to RM2.00, Avillion added two sen to 12 sen, while Metronic and Dagang NeXchange were flat at five sen and 89 sen respectively.

On the index board, the FBMT 100 Index eased 3.62 points to 10,427.61, the FBM Emas Shariah Index shaved off 19.78 points to 10,790.33, the FBM 70 lost 36.56 points to 12,761.39, the FBM ACE erased 12.36 points to 4,936.74, while the FBM Emas Index added 0.14 of-a-point to 10,683.18.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index rose 51.59 points to 16,827.61, the Plantation Index expanded 40.56 points to 7,196.81, the Industrial Products and Services Index ticked up 0.02 of-a-point to 184.04, and the Energy Index edged up 4.2 points to 663.12.

The Main Market volume decreased marginally to 1.43 billion shares worth RM1.43 billion from 1.64 billion shares worth RM1.63 billion yesterday.

Warrants turnover shrank to 246.16 million units valued at RM37.6 million versus 308.49 million units valued at RM56.64 million yesterday.

The ACE Market volume dwindled to 411.41 million shares worth RM161.72 million from 604.56 million shares worth RM282.21 million previously.

Consumer products and services counters accounted for 223.06 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (387.83 million), construction (31.62 million), technology (185.69 million), SPAC (nil), financial services (57.96 million), property (98.68 million), plantation (27.73 million), REITs (3.63 million), closed/fund (14,000), energy (102.7 million), healthcare (225.52 million), telecommunications and media (23.48 million), transportation and logistics (35.16 million), and utilities (22.93 million). — Bernama