KL shares rise for third day on bullish local, global sentiments

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KUALA LUMPUR: Shares on Bursa Malaysia were mostly higher on Thursday, with the barometer index extending its winning streak to the third straight session as optimism about US interest rate cuts fuelled bullish domestic and global risk sentiments.

At 5 pm, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) advanced 4.74 points, or 0.29 per cent, to 1,623.12 from Wednesday’s close of 1,618.38.

The index opened 2.78 points higher at 1,621.16 and moved between 1,621.10 and 1,628.35 throughout the morning session.

Gainers led decliners by 761 to 478, with 471 counters unchanged, 721 untraded and seven suspended.

Turnover expanded to 5.39 billion units worth RM4.41 billion from 4.76 billion units worth RM3.71 billion yesterday.

Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd equity research vice-president Thong Pak Leng said amid the positive local market performance, some profit-taking emerged in the afternoon session with the index paring down half of its gains earlier.

Nonetheless, the benchmark index managed to finish in the green in sync with the key regional indices, which were also in positive territory following the rally on Wall Street overnight.

Both the S&P 500 and NASDAQ Composite hit record highs, driven by US Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell’s remarks that sparked optimism for a soft landing for the US economy and potential interest rate cuts this year.

“At the same time, investors are watching for any impacts from the China Securities Regulatory Commission’s decision to tighten rules on short selling and high-frequency trading to curb improper arbitrage and maintain market stability,” he told Bernama.

Thong said the FBM KLCI is trying to break through the key resistance level of 1,630 amid the current bullish domestic and global catalysts.

Earlier, Bank Negara Malaysia’s Monetary Policy Statement snapshot highlighted that the Overnight Policy Rate remaining at 3.00 per cent will continue to support growth while keeping inflation in check.

The central bank also foresees that the domestic economy will improve further.

JP Morgan also upgraded its rating on Malaysia after almost six years, crediting the country’s policy reforms, data centre investments and infrastructure build-up.

On the local bourse, heavyweights Maybank and IHH Healthcare rose four sen to RM10.06 and RM6.34 respectively, Tenaga Nasional was 20 sen higher at RM14.60, CIMB was flat at RM7.09, while Public Bank eased two sen to RM4.12.

Technology-related counters dominated the most active counters with Nova MSC losing seven sen to 20 sen, ATA IMS eased three sen to 52 sen, Dataprep declined two sen to 22.5 sen, and G3 Global perked up half-a-sen to 3.5 sen. Ekovest added one sen to 47.5 sen.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index jumped 71.94 points to 12,582.32, the FBMT 100 Index rose 69.39 points to 12,155.30, the FBM Emas Shariah Index surged 106.43 points to 12,963.69, and the FBM 70 Index soared 230.79 points to 18,794.32.

The FBM ACE Index shed 32.59 points to 5,941.99.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index increased 45.26 points to 17,794.07, the Industrial Products and Services Index gained 0.97 of-a-point to 201.03, while the Plantation Index slid 3.80 points to 6,954.17 and the Energy Index dipped 0.62 of-a-point to 984.33.

The Main Market volume expanded to 3.0 billion units valued at RM3.85 billion from 2.88 billion units valued at RM3.22 billion on Wednesday.

Warrants turnover swelled to 1.15 billion units worth RM144.65 million compared with 905.55 million units worth RM115.50 million yesterday.

The ACE Market volume improved to 1.23 billion shares valued at RM413.44 million against 970.78 million shares valued at RM365.76 million previously.

Consumer products and services counters accounted for 495.27 million shares traded on the Main Market; industrial products and services (732.27 million); construction (379.95 million); technology (340.60 million); SPAC (nil); financial services (115.92 million); property (346.43 million); plantation (55.41 million); REITs (13.33 million); closed/fund (48,000); energy (185.49 million); healthcare (112.86 million); telecommunications and media (87.10 million); transportation and logistics (60.15 million); utilities (74.30 million); and business trusts (1.21 million). – Bernama