KUALA LUMPUR, June 13 — Bursa Malaysia’s barometer index pared its earlier gains at the close, but market breadth remained strong with a mix of profit-taking and bargain-hunting activities.

At 5pm, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) gained 1.22 points to 1,610.17 compared to 1,608.95 at yesterday’s close.

The FBM KLCI, which opened 3.63 points higher at 1,612.58, moved between 1,609.13 and 1,616.84.

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Gainers outpaced decliners by 798 to 447, while 453 counters were unchanged, 703 untraded and 15 others suspended.

Turnover narrowed to 5.91 billion units worth RM4.35 billion from Wednesday’s 7.59 billion units worth RM5.28 billion.

Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd equity research vice-president Thong Pak Leng said investors returned to hunt for bargains in utilities and banks after two days in negative territory, but opted to dump telecommunication counters after the previous rally.

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“Nevertheless, market breadth was positive and daily trading volume remains strong. Most key regional bourses closed higher, and bond yields declined as investors weighed the cooling US inflation,” he said.

Thong said tech stocks remained the key focus for investors as excitement around artificial intelligence (AI) has driven Wall Street to record highs despite concerns about high interest rates and a slowdown in the world’s largest economy.

“On the domestic front, we remain cautiously optimistic over the strong demand on tech, AI-related and supporting industries.

“Hence, we anticipate the benchmark index to trend within the range of 1,610-1,625 towards the weekend with immediate resistance at 1,620 and support at 1,610,” he said.

Among the heavyweights lifting the index, Tenaga Nasional increased 26 sen to RM14.14, Press Metal strengthened 17 sen to RM6.00, and YTL Power climbed 13 sen to RM5.16.

The heavyweight laggards included CelcomDigi which fell six sen to RM3.68 and Telekom Malaysia which shrank 20 sen to RM6.50.

Among the active counters, Sapura Energy was flat at 4.0 sen, JCY climbed 11.5 sen to 89.5 sen, MYEG went up five sen to RM1.14, Agmo rose 8.0 sen to 71 sen, and SNS Network dipped three sen to 84.5 sen.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index increased 42.53 points to 12,425.19, the FBMT 100 Index gained 34.18 points to 11,987.64, and the FBM Emas Shariah Index added 55.86 points to 12,809.70.

The FBM 70 Index jumped 153.10 points to 18,286.56 and the FBM ACE Index firmed by 107.12 points to 5,842.78.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index advanced 6.36 points to 17,560.04, the Industrial Products and Services Index inched up 1.74 points to 200.87, and the Energy Index expanded by 32.94 points to 1,012.24, but the Plantation Index fell by 36.33 points to 7,027.82.

The Main Market volume fell to 3.62 billion units worth RM3.76 billion from 4.27 billion units worth RM4.23 billion yesterday.

Warrants turnover remained at 1.04 billion units but with a slightly higher value of RM123.85 million compared with RM121.33 million yesterday.

The ACE Market volume dropped to 1.25 billion shares worth RM471.26 million from 2.27 billion shares worth RM921.62 million previously.

Consumer products and services counters accounted for 559.78 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (736.86 million), construction (322.89 million), technology (695.66 million), SPAC (nil), financial services (95.70 million), property (379.04 million), plantation (25.57 million), REITs (13.74 million), closed/fund (32,700), energy (370.49 million), healthcare (165.94 million), telecommunications and media (59.31 million), transportation and logistics (86.03 million), utilities (106.64 million), and business trusts (663,100). — Bernama