BURSA Malaysia ended mixed after the last-minute rise of some key blue chips.
At 5pm, the benchmark FBM KLCI rose 3.04 points to 1,623.96 versus yesterday’s close of 1,620.92.
The index opened 2.88 points higher at 1,623.80 and moved between 1,617.92 and 1,625.52
On the broader market, losers led gainers 724 to 457, while 412 counters were unchanged, 622 untraded and nine others suspended.
Total volume soared to 11.88 billion shares worth RM5.56 bil from Monday’s 10.29 billion shares worth RM5.22 bil.
Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd economist Adam Mohamed Rahim said the gains in the FBM KLCI was led mainly by Sime Darby, which soared 7.4% or 17 sen to RM2.48.
He said the Construction Index gained the most today to the tune 1.2%, while the Construction Index led laggards with a 2.6% decline due to lower crude oil prices.
Adam said sentiment on the local bourse also followed Wall Street’s advance to record highs overnight as investors anticipated that the US Federal Reserve and other central banks such as in Indonesia and Taiwan, which are having meetings this week will keep policies accommodative to help drive a post-pandemic global economic recovery.
“Investors are watching closely any commentary from US monetary policy makers on the recent run-up in yields, which have risen on bets of faster growth and inflation.
“This could prompt the Federal Open Market Committee to signal it will start raising rates sooner-than- expected,” he told Bernama.
Among heavyweights, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd was 56 sen weaker at RM17.40, Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Bhd lost 10 sen to RM10, Petronas Dagangan Bhd slipped 36 sen to RM20.30, Malayan Banking Bhd was three sen lower at RM8.45 and Nestle (M) Bhd declined RM1.40 to RM135.70.
Hartalega Holdings Bhd dropped eight sen to RM9.75 and Public Bank Bhd declined one sen to RM4.31.
Axiata Group bhd recovered nine sen to RM3.85 and Tenaga Nasional Bhd gained 14 sen to RM10.80.
Market debutant Teladan Setia Group Bhd increased nine sen to 57 sen, Scomi Group Bhd added 7.5 sen to 11 sen and Widad Group Bhd inched up 3.5 sen to 71.5 sen.
Dagang Nexchange Bhd was half-a-sen higher at 98 and BCM Alliance Bhd was seven sen lower at 24 sen. – March 16, 2021