KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia welcomed the new year on a positive trend, in line with its regional peers, lifted mainly by buying in selected heavyweights, a dealer said.
At 9.02am, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) gained 3.01 points to 1,693.59 from Monday’s close of 1,690.58.
The index opened 2.93 points stronger at 1,693.51.
Market breadth was positive, as gainers thumped losers 113 to 47, while 104 counters were unchanged, 1,593 untraded and 20 others suspended.
Turnover stood at 42.01 million shares worth RM14.75 million.
The market was closed on Tuesday for New Year.
The uptrend seen on the local bourse today was in line with the expectations from research houses.
Public Investment Bank Bhd, for example, said it expects Bursa Malaysia to start the year higher after a positive performance on Wall Street last Monday.
“Global stock markets closed out their worst year since the financial crisis, leaving investors bruised and braced for further volatility in the coming months.
“The equity market retreat of the past year has been stoked by concerns of a slowing global economy and tightening monetary policy,” it said in a note today.
Public Investment said the mounting geopolitical tensions, from the escalating trade war between the US and China to Brexit, have also rattled investors and weighed heavily on equities.
Meanwhile, another dealer said that market players viewed the weekend tweet by US President Donald Trump as a good move to kickstart the new year positively.
“Last Saturday, Trump tweeted, citing “big progress” in trade talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping. We hope this could boost the global markets including the equity markets,” he said.
To recap, on the first trading day of 2018, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) stood at 1,782.11.
Among heavyweights, Maybank fell one sen to RM9.49, Public Bank rose six sen to RM24.82, while both Tenaga and Petronas Chemicals gained two sen to RM13.62 and RM9.31 respectively.
Of actives, Tatt Giap added two sen to 25 sen, Puc Bhd inched up one sen to 12.5 sen, Hubline was flat at 4.5 sen, while Sapura Energy was down half-a-sen at 28.5 sen.
The FBM Emas Index improved 19.70 points to 11,547.21, the FBMT 100 Index increased 19.03 points to 11,462.64, and the FBM Emas Syariah Index rose 18.46 points to 11,522.89.
The FBM Ace Index was 24.02 points better at 4,341.51 while the FBM 70 advanced 2.05 points to 13,077.24.
Sector-wise, the Finance Index inched up 45.99 points to 17,342.46, the Plantation Index went up 4.16 points to 6,907.12 and the Industrial Products and Services Index edged up 0.25 point to 166.74.
The physical price of gold as at 9.30am stood at RM164.50 per gramme, down 25 sen from RM164.75 at 5pm Monday. — Bernama