KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia closed higher today on mild bargain-hunting in lower liners and small caps, amid cautious sentiment over the local and global economic growth prospects, dealers said.
At the close, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) rose 0.16% or 2.70 points to 1,638.38 from Thursday’s close of 1,635.68.
The index opened 2.98 points higher at 1,638.66 and moved between 1,632.58 and 1,639.18 throughout the trading session.
On the broader market, however, losers led gainers 495 to 384, while 359 counters were unchanged, 674 untraded and 64 others suspended.
Volume declined to 2.84 billion units valued at RM2.06 billion against Thursday’s 3.77 billion units valued at RM2.53 billion.
A dealer said investors were cautiously optimistic that the Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s working visit in China currently would provide a positive outcome which could spillover into the various sectors and boost local economic activities.
“At the same time, the decline in oil prices, lacklustre economic data growth globally, despite upbeat corporate earnings by major US companies, were also weighing on investors’ sentiment, prompting some profit-taking ahead of the weekend,” he told Bernama.
News that China would purchase more Malaysian crude palm oil in the future through an agreement have boosted oil palm related stocks.
Shares of Sime Darby Plantation rose three sen to RM5.12, Kuala Lumpur Kepong added 10 sen to RM24.80 and TDM gained one sen to 23 sen.
Among heavyweights, Maybank improved one sen to RM9.14, Public Bank added four sen to RM22.64, Petronas Chemicals perked five sen to RM9.10 while Tenaga eased two sen to RM12.14.
Most active counters, Ekovest was flat at 94.5 sen, Bumi Armada dipped 1.5 sen to 23 sen, and Tiger Synergy was down one sen to six sen.
The physical price of gold as at 5pm stood at RM164.61 per gramme, up 40 sen from RM164.21 at 5pm yesterday. — Bernama