KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 2): Bursa Malaysia finished the morning session higher in tandem with the upbeat regional market performance, bolstered by Wall Street’s rebound overnight, implying that the market has priced in the impact of interest rates and acknowledging that inflationary pressures have been easing.
At lunch break on Thursday (Feb 2), the benchmark FBM KLCI was 1.95 points firmer at 1,487.45, from Tuesday's close at 1,485.50.
The key index opened 3.32 points stronger at 1,488.82, and subsequently moved between 1,485.90 and 1,493.21 throughout the morning session.
Market breadth was positive, with gainers outpacing losers 559 to 326, while 389 counters were unchanged, 899 untraded, and 11 others suspended.
Turnover amounted to 3.15 billion units worth RM1.44 billion.
Malacca Securities said the KLCI took a breather on Tuesday, before heading into the Federal Territory Day holiday, as investors stayed cautious prior to the US Federal Open Market Committee meeting.
“Hence, for today's (Thursday) trading, we believe the positive sentiment on both Wall Street and regional markets will spill over to the local bourse.
“Commodities-wise, the Brent crude oil traded around US$82 per barrel, while the crude palm oil price fell near the RM3,800 per metric ton level,” it said in a research note, adding that the technology sector may gain momentum after a strong surge on Wall Street.
Meanwhile, investors may take a breather from energy stocks given the pullback in the Brent oil price, and remain focused on sectors such as transportation, consumer, and travel-related.
On the local bourse, heavyweights Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Bhd added nine sen to RM5.27 a share, Digi.Com Bhd rose five sen to RM4.26, Inari Amertron Bhd added 12 sen to RM2.71, while Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd lost nine sen to RM8.26, and Public Bank Bhd eased three sen to RM4.21.
Among other heavyweights, Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) shed two sen to RM8.72, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd was four sen easier at RM5.71, while Tenaga Nasional Bhd added seven sen to RM9.49.
As for the actives, Hong Seng Consolidated Bhd improved by 1.5 sen to 21.5 sen, while its warrant was flat at two sen, Velesto Energy Bhd climbed 2.5 sen to 25.5 sen, Perdana Petroleum Bhd rose two sen to 21 sen, Borneo Oil Bhd was flat at two sen and Sapura Energy was unchanged at five sen.
On the index board, the FBM Emas Index gained 43.07 points to 10,859.34, the FBMT 100 Index put on 36.99 points to 10,522.45, and the FBM Emas Shariah Index jumped 79.87 points to 11,156.07.
The FBM 70 surged 147.87 points to 13,833.87, and the FBM ACE Index added 44.01 points to 5,755.47.
Sector-wise, the Energy Index was 18.44 points better at 905.69, the Plantation Index expanded 21.35 points to 6,850.73, while the Industrial Products and Services Index eased by 0.07 of a point to 189.86, and the Financial Services Index shed 62.93 points to 16,350.49.