PETALING JAYA: The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KL Composite Index soared nearly 20 points to breach the 1,480 level yesterday, reversing Tuesday's 13-point loss as markets rebounded amid nascent signs of a recovery in the United States and eurozone.
The local bourse added 1.35% to 1,484.98 points, bolstered by blue chips including Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Malayan Banking Bhd and Genting Bhd. Gainers surpassed losers 405 to 307 while 336 counters traded unchanged. Turnover was RM1.32bil on volume of 1.65 billion shares.
Meanwhile, the counters in focus were Aeon Credit Services (M) Bhd which advanced to RM7.20 following a 57% increase in its net profit for the quarter to Nov 20, Boustead Heavy Industries Corp Bhd which rose to RM3.39 after it denied a report of a privatisation by its parent Boustead Holdings Bhd, and KAF-Seagroatt & Campbell Bhd which closed at RM1.72 on news that Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp may be taking over its brokerage business.
Areca Capital Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Danny Wong told StarBiz that investors were mainly buying into smaller-cap stocks as the trading volume outpaced the value of shares transacted.
He also said fund managers hungry for returns had purchased select blue chips after a sell-down earlier in the year when markets receded.
World equities traded higher after the United States beat expectations on housing starts in November, which was up 24.3% year-on-year to 685,000, and data from the Labour Department showed that unemployment rates dropped in almost all US states.
In Europe, yields on two-year Italian and Spanish bonds fell to their lowest levels since October, a sign of investors' confidence.
On the regional front, most benchmark indices shrugged off geopolitical concerns about the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il to post gains, save for Shanghai's Composite Index which shed 1.12% to 2,191.15 points.
Among the gainers, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 added 1.48% to 8,459.98 points, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was up 1.86% to 18,416.45 points, Seoul's Kospi Index advanced 3.09% to 1,848.41 points, and Singapore's Straits Times Index rose 2.25% to 2,673.32 points.
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