Bargain hunting pushes Bursa back to above 1,600 points

POSITIVE news flow lifted Bursa Malaysia above the 1,600 level to end 0.44% higher on Wednesday although the broader market remained bearish.

At 5pm, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) advanced 7.11 points to 1,602.40 points compared with1,595.29 at yesterday’s close.

The index opened 3.63 points weaker at 1,591.66 and moved between 1,585.44 and 1,602.77 throughout the day.

Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd economist Adam Mohamed Rahim said domestically, economic data showed that Malaysia’s Consumer Price Index grew by 0.1% in February, ending 11 straight months of decline and thus, signalling growth for the nation’s economy.

On the broader market, losers led gainers 633 to 438, while 477 counters were unchanged, 675 untraded and 11 others suspended.

Total volume fell to 6.95 billion shares valued at RM3.56 bil from 7.05 billion shares worth RM4.04 bil on Tuesday.

Adam noted that the local bourse bucked the trend of most regional peers, namely South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Indonesia, which saw their key index in the red during the day.

“Regional markets were in the red amid prospects of a slower economic growth due to fresh lockdowns in Europe combined with a potential tax hike in the US,” he told Bernama.

Another reason for Wednesday’s recovery in the local market was that potential foreign investors piled back into the Malaysian economy after foreign funds turned net sellers on Bursa Malaysia last week.

This was also supported by a Standard Chartered’s study pointing that European and US companies ranked Malaysia as the second most favourable Southeast Asian country for opportunities to establish or expand their sourcing, selling or operations over the next six to 12 months.

Meanwhile, Adam said that the plantation and utilities index were among the gainers today with a 0.4% gain, while the telecommunications and media index recorded the biggest loss of 0.6%.

As for the top gainers among the heavyweights, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd added 15 sen to RM8.07, MISC Bhd gained 16 sen to RM6.85, Tenaga Nasional Bhd rose 12 sen to RM10.82, Top Glove Corporation Bhd was seven sen better at RM5.12 and IOI Corporation Bhd was six sen higher at RM4.30.

As for the active counters, Dagang Nexchange Bhd added 9.5 sen to 98 sen and its warrants were 4.5 sen better at 34 sen, MMAG Holdings Bhd declined 10.5 sen at 39 sen, Green Ocean Corporation Bhd was half-a-sen higher at 6.5 sen, South Malaysia Industries Bhd inched up three sen to 21 sen while Yong Tai Bhd rose one sen at 27 sen. – March 24, 2021

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