KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 23 — The FBM KLCI continued its upward momentum to close in positive territory despite the overall broad selling as investors continued to book profits in companies that reported stronger-than-expected numbers in the ongoing earnings season.

At 5pm, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) bagged 3.62 points to 1,549.11 from Thursday’s close of 1,545.49, with utility counters YTL Corp, YTL Power and Tenaga Nasional propelling the uptrend.

The benchmark index opened 0.86 of-a-point higher at 1,546.35 and moved between 1,544.18 and 1,551.15 throughout the session.

Losers outpaced gainers 613 to 448, while 458 counters were unchanged, 795 untraded and 36 others suspended.

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Turnover surged to 4.07 billion units worth RM3.21 billion versus yesterday’s 3.72 billion units worth RM2.58 billion.

Head of wealth research & advisory, designated portfolio manager at UOB Kay Hian Wealth Advisors, Mohd Sedek Jantan commented that although the local market’s strength may seem subdued compared to Tuesday’s performance, investor confidence remains intact.

He noted that Tuesday’s establishment of FBM KLCI at 1555.59 as the new support level underscores the robust fundamentals of the Malaysian market, adding that today’s downtrend in market breadth was due to investors actively taking profits on stocks that have already declared their 2023 earnings.

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Nevertheless, he said interest was also seen in the utility sector, following the positive quarterly earnings announcements, and that today’s technology counters resurgence also mirrored Nvidia’s impressive performance, which drove Walls Street’s Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 to record highs.

“As of yesterday’s trade, foreign buyers have maintained a net buying position for the fourth consecutive day this week,” he told Bernama.

Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd equity research vice-president Thong Pak Leng said the FBM KLCI managed to retain a position above all the Exponential Moving Averages (EMAs) despite a pullback since Wednesday.

“The positive bias is further supported by the improving EMAs, indicating ongoing consolidation.”

Bursa Malaysia heavyweights YTL Corp soared nearly 15 per cent or 32 sen to end at an all-time high of RM2.47 and YTL Power rose 6.3 per cent or 24 sen to RM4.02 after announcing stellar earnings performance.

Tenaga Nasional was six sen higher at RM11.28, Sime Darby gained four sen to RM2.65 and Hong Leong Bank rose 12 sen to RM19.56.

On the other hand, Petronas Chemicals lost 15 sen to RM6.95 and Sime Darby Plantation was seven sen lower at RM4.43.

As for the actives, Hong Seng, TWL and Widad were flat at 2.0 sen, 4.0 sen and 12.5 sen respectively.

Powerwell went up two sen to 29 sen and Notion shed 1.5 sen to 44 sen after a few days of rally.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index gained 7.38 points to 11,519.36 and the FBMT 100 Index improved 9.95 points to 11,172.17.

The FBM Emas Shariah Index slipped 40.83 points to 11,561.78, the FBM 70 Index dipped 52.47 points to 15,592.52, and the FBM ACE Index was 20.67 points lower at 4,885.89.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index expanded 21.94 points to 17,345.39, the Utilities Index gained 47.93 points to 1,576.04, the Industrial Products and Services Index eased 0.68 of-a-point to 177.85, the Energy Index was 4.34 points easier at 929.89, and the Plantation Index slid 85.29 points to 7,247.83.

The Main Market volume widened to 2.59 billion units valued at RM2.88 billion from Thursday’s 2.30 billion units valued at RM2.26 billion.

Warrants turnover tumbled to 791.40 million units worth RM123.85 million from 871.36 million units worth RM125.91 million yesterday.

The ACE Market volume increased to 665.94 million shares worth RM202.09 million from 531.81 million shares worth RM186.30 million previously.

Consumer products and services counters accounted for 354.20 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (493.65 million); construction (96.23 million); technology (661.94 million); SPAC (nil); financial services (99.29 million); property (331.06 million); plantation (53.08 million); REITs (19 million), closed/fund (36,900); energy (136.08 million); healthcare (73.57 million); telecommunications and media (42.23 million); transportation and logistics (26.66 million); and utilities (202.22 million). — Bernama