KUALA LUMPUR (May 18): Bursa Malaysia ended higher for the third consecutive trading session on Wednesday (May 18) on continuous nibbling in selected heavyweights including financial services, consumer, and oil and gas (O&G) stocks.
At 5pm, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) rose 6.31 points to 1,554.91 from Tuesday's close of 1,548.6.
The benchmark index, which opened 5.55 points better at 1,554.15, moved between 1,547.47 and 1,558.89 throughout the day.
Market breadth was mixed with decliners leading advancers 464 to 460, while 437 counters were unchanged, 894 untraded, and 11 others suspended.
Total turnover dwindled to 3.74 billion units worth RM2.25 billion from 5.51 billion units worth RM2.79 billion on Tuesday.
Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd vice president of equity research Thong Pak Leng said regionally, the key indices closed broadly higher, buoyed by China's easing of its weeks-long Covid-19 lockdowns and gradual reopening of businesses, and positive retail sales data from the United States.
Singapore’s Straits Times rose 1.01% to 3,234.08, Japan’s Nikkei bagged 0.94% to 26,911.2, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.2% to 20,644.28, and South Korea’s Kospi increased 0.21% to 2,625.98.
"On the domestic front, we expect the local market to continue its uptrend due to improved market sentiment while Malaysian equities' valuations are still cheaper as compared with regional peers, hence offer better potential upsides for foreign investors.
"However, investors should stay alert on the increasing market volatility and uncertainty," he told Bernama.
As such, Thong said the FBM KLCI is expected to trade within the 1,545-1,565 range for the remaining week.
"Technically, the immediate resistance is at 1,570 and support at 1,540," he added.
Among the heavyweights, Malayan Banking Bhd rose four sen to RM8.99, Public Bank Bhd gained eight sen to RM4.61, IHH Healthcare Bhd added three sen to RM6.46, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd increased one sen to RM5.07, while Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd fell four sen to RM9.98.
Of the actives, Sapura Energy Bhd was flat at 7.5 sen, Techna-X Bhd fell three sen to five sen, Serba Dinamik Holdings Bhd eased half-a-sen to 16 sen, Yong Tai Bhd dropped 1.5 sen to 8.5 sen, while SMTrack Bhd perked up two sen to nine sen.
Among the top gainers, Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd advanced RM1.60 to RM134.40, Hong Leong Bank Bhd put on 46 sen to RM21.20, PPB Group Bhd rose 38 sen to RM16.92, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd bagged 36 sen to RM6.56, and Texchem Resources Bhd surged 25 sen to RM3.40.
On the index board, the FBM ACE dropped 40.87 points to 5,322.37, the FBM Emas Shariah Index erased 6.39 points to 11,542.88, while the FBM Emas Index advanced 40.2 points to 11,100.61, the FBMT 100 Index climbed 42.63 points to 10,767.71, and the FBM 70 gained 47.78 points to 13,186.63.
Sector-wise, the Plantation Index decreased 37.43 points to 8,222.76 and the Industrial Products and Services Index was 1.44 points lower at 198.98, but the Financial Services Index jumped 132.42 points to 16,666.91.
Main Market volume shrank to 2.79 billion shares worth RM2.06 billion from 4.72 billion shares worth RM2.59 billion on Tuesday.
Warrants turnover improved to 300.87 million units valued at RM55.87 million versus 271.92 million units valued at RM55.55 million on Tuesday.
The ACE Market volume increased to 642.73 million units worth RM138.67 million from 514.4 million units worth RM144.57 million previously.
Consumer products and services counters accounted for 256.37 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (351.3 million), construction (81.51 million), technology (245.3 million), SPAC (nil), financial services (72.21 million), property (272.68 million), plantation (39.81 million), REITs (9.36 million), closed/fund (43,500), energy (1.34 billion), healthcare (46.3 million), telecommunications and media (38.48 million), transportation and logistics (23.95 million), and utilities (17.91 million).