KUALA LUMPUR: Persistent buying in index-linked counters propelled Bursa Malaysia to end higher for the second consecutive day on Dec 12, as investors reacted positively to the US Federal Reserve’s move to leave interest rates unchanged and signalled no changes through next year.

At 5 pm, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) rose 4.15 points to 1,567.34, with gains led by Petronas Gas, MISC and Maxis.

The index opened 3.36 points weaker at 1,559.83 against Dec 11’s close of 1,563.19.

Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd head of research Pong Teng Siew said most regional bourses climbed higher in reaction to the dovish statement by the US Federal Reserve.

“This spreads the mood of optimism although there was no news regarding the US-China trade war yet and the market is seen to be prepared to remain optimistic,” he added.

It was reported that US President Donald Trump will meet with top trade advisers on Dec 12 to discuss the Dec 15 deadline, when the US is expected to impose fresh tariffs on some US$160 bil (RM665.28 bil) in Chinese goods.

Pong said although Malaysia’s Industrial Production Index (IPI) grew moderately by 0.3% in October 2019, manufacturing in November to January 2020 is set to improve further on festive seasons.

“Typically in November, December until January next year, there will be a pick-up in manufacturing and production related to food production ahead of the Chinese New Year demand.

“So I expect November and December data should be higher,” he added.

Besides US-China trade war developments, investors would also keep their eyes on the European Central Bank’s meeting outcome on Dec 12.

Among the heavyweights, Petronas Gas rose RM1.06 to RM16.40, MISC added 11 sen to RM8.41, while Maxis was five sen higher at RM5.16.

Petronas Dagangan increased 48 sen to RM23.78 and Petronas Chemicals edged up four sen to RM7.03.

Eco World Development continued to be the leader among the active counters, increasing two sen to 76.5 sen after announcing a higher profit of RM203.42 mil in the financial year ended Oct 31, 2019 from RM93.49 mil a year ago, while revenue surged to RM2.46 bil from RM1.98 bil previously.

Meanwhile, Ekovest perked up 1.5 sen to 81 sen, while Sapura Energy remained flat at 26 sen.

Market breadth was mixed with 427 gainers and 428 losers, with 378 counters unchanged, 838 untraded and 17 others suspended.

Volume rose to 2.49 billion units worth RM2.12 bil from 2.37 billion units valued at RM1.71 bil on Dec 11.

The FBM Emas Index increased 35.03 points to 11,159.03, FBM Emas Shariah Index gained 79.82 points to 11,793.13 while the FBMT 100 Index rose 35.93 points to 10,959.18.

The FBM Ace went up 50.46 points to 4,975.66 and the FBM 70 improved 74.20 points to 13,985.43.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index edged down 18.17 points to 15,194.14, the Industrial Products and Services Index was 0.59 point better at 150.66 and the Plantation Index rose 13.74 points to 7,500.32.

Main Market volume expanded to 1.82 billion shares worth RM1.98 bil versus 1.67 billion shares worth RM1.55 bil on Dec 11.

Warrants turnover went down to 314.35 million units valued at RM44.35 mil from 315.4 million units valued at RM55.52 mil.

Volume on the ACE Market fell to 360.03 million shares worth RM89.88 mil vis-à-vis 384.9 million shares worth RM100.84 mil.

Consumer products and services accounted for 244.24 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (229.44 million), construction (164.53 million), technology (107.21 million), SPAC (nil), financial services (76.66 million), property (399.05 million), plantations (84.21 million), REITs (12.16 million), closed/fund (1,500), energy (372.71 million), healthcare (12.06 million), telecommunications and media (32.50 million), transportation and logistics (57.84 million), and utilities (23.26 million). – Bernama

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