Bursa Malaysia opens higher, tracking optimism on Wall Street


KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia opened higher today, tracking the better overnight performance on Wall Street, as investor sentiment was buoyed by positive US economic data.

A survey from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) on Monday showed activity in the US services industry reached its highest level on record in March following the country’s positive jobs report on Friday which beat forecast with 916,000 jobs added to payrolls last month.

At 9.09am, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) gained 1.65 points to 1,585.89 from Monday’s close of 1,584.24.

The index opened 4.03 points higher at 1,588.27.

On the broader market, gainers led losers 290 to 174, while 358 counters were unchanged, 1,309 untraded and nine others suspended.

Total volume stood at 538.44 million shares worth RM198.43 million.

Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd said the announcement on the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (KVMRT) Line 3 project, coupled with the news on the reversion of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project to the original alignment, may continue to serve as an upside catalyst for the construction sector.

Meanwhile, the Covid-19 vaccination phase 2 programme which is set to begin on April 19 in eight states may continue to bring positive sentiment into the market.

For sector in focus, the research house said the construction and property sectors are expected to be under the limelight for the near term, not forgetting the proxy segment such as cement and steel industries, given the news on the MRT3 and ECRL projects.

“Also buying interest may persist within the recovery-theme sector such as consumer amid lower Covid-19 cases and the ongoing vaccination programme.

“We reckon the key index may continue to trade sideways, with resistance pegged around 1,600 to 1,625 while support is located along 1,550 to1,560,” it added.

Of the heavyweights, Maybank shed two sen to RM8.32, Public Bank added one sen to RM4.23 and Tenaga gained two sen to RM10.24.

Petronas Chemicals and IHH Healthcare were flat at RM7.99 and RM5.33, respectively.

Among the active counters, Vortex edged up half-a-sen to one sen, Volcano rose 19 sen to 54 sen, and Sealink International improved two sen to 32 sen.

Sapura Energy and AT Systematization were flat at 14.5 sen and nine sen, respectively.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index was up 22.02 points to 11,777.47, the FBM 70 rose 54.90 points to 15,873.17, the FBMT 100 increased 19.20 points to 11,423.77, the FBM Emas Shariah advanced 34.38 points to 13,053.68, and the FBM ACE expanded 42.52 points to 9,750.86.

Sector-wise, the Plantation Index went up 5.56 points to 7,036.88, and the Industrial Products and Services Index edged up 0.61 of-a-point to 194.56 and the Financial Services Index gained 4.14 points to 15,304.37. — Bernama





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