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KUALA LUMPUR, April 15 -- Bursa Malaysia was higher this morning, in line with regional peers, lifted by better market sentiment as fears over United States high inflation subsided, dealers said.
At 9.05am, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) gained 1.91 points to 1,600.19 from Wednesday’s close of 1,597.71.
The index opened 1.53 points higher at 1,599.81.
The rise in composite index was largely supported by gains in rubber glove stocks and other selected heavyweights.
Supermax and Top Glove rose six sen each to RM4.66 and RM5.19, respectively, and Hartalega picked up three sen to RM9.50.
Market breadth turned positive with gainers leading losers 212 to 180, while 309 counters were unchanged, 1,476 untraded and 25 others suspended.
Total volume stood at 265.65 million shares worth RM158.26 million.
Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd, in a note, said with COVID-19 infections in the country showing an upward trend, the overall market sentiment might remain jittery.
Despite that, the surged in crude oil prices amid the optimism about returning demand after the lockdowns mighty provide some alleviation, particularly to the oil and gas players.
"We believe oil and gas counters will be under traders’ radar in view of the surge in oil prices.
“Daily demand on food and packaging amid the extension of the movement control order may attract buying interest in the consumer and packaging sectors,” it said, adding that the healthcare sector is also in focus as Malaysia is on the brink of the fourth wave of COVID-19 in view of rising new and active cases.
The new COVID-19 cases in the country surged to 1,889 yesterday from 1,767 a day earlier -- the highest number of new infections since March 6. This brings the tally to 365,829.
Of the heavyweights, Maybank earned two sen to RM8.33, Petronas Chemicals and Tenaga rose four sen each to RM7.92 and RM10.20, respectively, while both Public Bank and IHH Healthcare were flat at RM4.20 and RM5.40, respectively.
Among the active counters, AT Sytematization and Asia Poly inched up half-a-sen each to 10 sen and 41 sen, respectively, Widad bagged one sen to 54.5 sen, while Ucrest was flat at 30.5 sen.
On the index board, the FBM Emas Index was 15.76 points higher at 11,850.6, the FBM Emas Shariah increased 22.76 points to 13,225.47, the FBMT 100 advanced 11.99 points to 11,494.63, the FBM 70 improved 9.87 points to 15,848.38, and the FBM ACE garnered 85.79 points to 9,419.29.
Sector-wise, the Industrial Products and Services Index added 0.57 of-a-point to 195.49, the Plantation Index perked 1.2 points to 6,970.02, and the Financial Services Index gained 2.96 points to 15,124.19.