PETALING JAYA: Bursa Malaysia emerged as Asia’s best performer yesterday as its benchmark index the FBM KLCI staged the strongest intra-day surge since October 2018.
Led by the strong showing of IHH HEALTHCARE BHD and several banking stocks, among others, the 30-stock index almost breached the 1,600-psychological level after it rose by 22.16 points, or 1.41%, to 1,599.11 points at market close.
This marked a strong surge for two straight days. On Tuesday, the FBM KLCI was up 0.48% or 7.6 points.
Year-to-date, the index is down 5.4%.
Greater buying interest by investors ahead of 2020, likely from local funds, has lifted the FBM KLCI and overall sentiment in the bourse.
For context, the average daily trading value (ADTV) of the Malaysian stock exchange for the first three days of this week is RM1.93bil.
This is an increase from an ADTV of RM1.89bil last week and RM1.62bil the week before.
MIDF head of research Mohd Redza Abdul Rahman told StarBiz that the market is experiencing a breath of optimism ahead of 2020, fuelled by a number of events.
“Crude palm oil price continues to be above RM2,800 per tonne. Secondly, the banking sector prospects are getting better amid the focus on mortgages and small and medium enterprises loans.
“Thirdly, liquidity in Petronas-linked counters also helped to spur interest in the stocks. Meanwhile, the uptick in Top Glove Corp Bhd’s earnings brought some cheer for the gloves and healthcare sector, ” he said.
Being the biggest contributor to FBM KLCI’s rise yesterday, IHH charged by 48 sen to RM5.98 and powered the index up 7.43 points. PUBLIC BANK BHD jumped 56 sen to RM19.56 and added 3.83 points. Maxis Bhd, the third biggest contributor, gained 17 sen to RM5.38 and lifted the index by 2.34 points.
It is worth noting that aside from Public Bank, several other banking counters namely CIMB GROUP HOLDINGS BHD, MALAYAN BANKING BHD, HONG LEONG BANK BHD and RHB Bank Bhd were among the top 10 contributors to the FBM KLCI.
The overall market performance remained positive with 423 gainers compared to 417 losers. A total of 412 counters were unchanged.
Market turnover was 2.5 billion shares valued at RM2.03bil.
Index performance-wise, the Finance Index increased by 1.7%, while the Property Index and Plantation Index rose 1.29% and 0.21% respectively.
A look at key Asian markets showed mixed performance, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 down 0.42%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slipped 0.08% and China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.08%.
On the other hand, Taiwan’s TAIEX edged up 0.11% and Singapore’s STI added 0.27%.
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