KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 15): Bursa Malaysia ended the morning session higher in sync with the performance of regional markets following positive cues from Wall Street overnight.
At 12.30pm, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) added 4.18 points to 1,596.7 from 1,592.52 at Thursday’s close.
The bellwether index opened 2.65 points firmer at 1,595.17 and moved between 1,592.67 and 1,599.76.
Market breadth was positive with losers leading gainers 527 to 387, while 460 counters were unchanged, 915 untraded and 17 others suspended.
Turnover stood at 2.7 billion units worth RM1.48 billion.
Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd believes the market undertone will remain steady.
“Therefore, we expect the FBM KLCI to trend within the 1,590-1,600 range today,” it said in a note.
Market players also reacted positively to the US's upbeat earnings and better-than-expected labour data in addition to the continuous rally in crude oil prices.
The Labour Department said the number of US unemployment benefits dropped to below 300,000 for the first time in over a year last week.
The weekly jobless claims of 293,000 last week was the lowest since March 2020, bolstering the US stock markets.
US President Joe Biden has also signed legislation to temporarily raise the government's debt limit to US$28.9 trillion, pushing the deadline for debt default to December from mid-October.
Of the heavyweights, Axiata Group Bhd and RHB Bank Bhd expanded eight sen to RM4.09 and RM5.74 respectively, MISC Bhd was 12 sen stronger at RM7.27, Genting Malaysia Bhd added six sen to RM3.22 and Sime Darby Bhd rose five sen to RM2.36.
Hartalega Holdings Bhd lost 15 sen to RM6.07 and Top Glove Corp Bhd slipped five sen to RM2.74.
Among the actives, Kanger International Bhd eased half-a-sen to five sen, Jadi Imaging Holdings Bhd was unchanged at 12.5 sen, Brahim's Holdings Bhd lost 19 sen to 27 sen and Serba Dinamik Holdings Bhd reduced 1.5 sen to 37 sen.
On the index board, the FBM Emas Index went up 37.4 points to 11,747.56, the FBMT 100 Index bagged 35.09 points to 11,385.75, the FBM Emas Shariah Index rose 32.49 points to 12,841.08, the FBM 70 ticked up 68 points to 15,378.07, and the FBM ACE gained 43.07 points to 7,204.43.
Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index firmed 52.93 points to 15,708.86, the Industrial Products and Services Index inched up 0.77 of-a-point to 212.93, and the Plantation Index recovered 14.94 points to 7,011.79.