KUALA LUMPUR: Optimism returned to key Asian markets after the firmer overnight close on Wall Street galvanised investor sentiment as blue chips advanced on Bursa Malaysia led by Hong Leong Bank and MISC.
At 9.06am, the FBM KLCI was up 7.41 points or 0.4% to 1,842.34. Turnover was 101.37 million shares valued at RM46.28mil. There were 172 gainers, 72 losers and 125 counters unchanged.
The market will close in the afternoon session ahead of the Chinese New Year holidays on Friday.
Asian stocks gained on Thursday after Wall Street brushed aside strong US inflation data and surged, a counterintuitive move that also saw the dollar pinned at two-week lows even as Treasury yields jumped in anticipation of a quicker pace of US interest rate hikes, Reuters reported.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.4%.
Australian stocks climbed 0.8% and South Korea's KOSPI advanced 1.1%. Japan's Nikkei jumped 1.1%.
At Bursa, consumer stocks were among the gainers. Nestle jumped RM2.30 to RM119.60, BAT 60 sen to RM30.20 and Carlsberg 36 sen to RM17.02.
Hong Leong Bank gained 24 sen to RM18.44, MISC 16 sen to RM7.24 while BIMB gained 15 sen to RM4.24.
Supermax added 15 sen to RM2.35 and Globetronics 12 sen to RM6.34 while PPB Group rose 10 sen to RM17.60.
Edgenta was the top loser, down 11 sen to RM2.27, Ajinomoto 10 sen to RM20.06 while Hartalega lost four sen to RM11.74.