KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia and key Asian markets climbed in early Tuesday trade, underpinned by the US Federal Reserve pledge to stabilise the financial system and also the regulators’ decisive action to halt short selling until April 30.
At 9.06am, the KLCI was up 25.65 points or 2.04% to 1,285.53. Turnover was 197.17 million shares valued at nearly RM100mil. There were 292 gainers, 60 losers and 111 counters unchanged.
Asian stocks rallied as the US Federal Reserve's sweeping pledge to spend whatever it took to stabilise the financial system eased debt market pressures, even if it could not offset the immediate economic hit of the coronavirus.
While Wall Street seemed unimpressed, investors in Asia were encouraged enough to lift E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 by 1.9% and Japan's Nikkei by 4.9%. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 1.2%.
Late Monday, the Securities Commission and Bursa Malaysia announced that short-selling has been suspended until April 30,2020, to mitigate potential risks from the heightened volatility and global uncertainties.
In a joint statement, the regulators said the temporary suspension applies to intraday short selling (IDSS) and restricted short-selling (RSS) as well as intraday short-selling by proprietary day traders. The suspension will not apply to permitted short-selling (PSS).
At Bursa, Public Bank rallied 88 sen to RM14.78, Hong Leong Bank 60 sen to RM13.30 while RHB Bank gained 23 sen to RM4.95. Aeon Credit rose 24 sen to RM8.10.
Carlsberg added 80 sen to RM20.52, BAT 34 sen to RM9.60 and Heineken 26 sen to RM20.02 but F&N lost 28 sen to RM27.72 in thin trade.
MPI gained 49 sen to RM9.16 and Frontken 22 sen to RM1.56.
Penny oil and gas stocks edged higher in active trade.
AIRASIA added three sen to 64 sen with 9.6 million shares done.
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