KUALA LUMPUR: Asian markets extended their rally on Wednesday while Bursa Malaysia held on to most of the early gains following positive news about the US government’s massive economic stimulus bill to cushion the impact of the Covid-19 coronavirus.
At 5pm, the FBM KLCI was up 32.81 points or 2.54% to 1,323,95. Turnover surged to 4.33 billion shares valued at RM2.83bil. Advancers beat decliners 641 to 267 while 356 counters were unchanged.
Bursa gave up some early gains when it opened for the afternoon session after the government extended the movement control order (MCO) for another two weeks until April 14.
However, it managed to regain its footing towards the later part of trading as investor sentiment was shored up by the proposed US$2bil stimulus plan.
Consumer stocks were the top gainers, with Carlsberg up RM2 to RM23.50, Heineken RM1.04 to RM21.70, Nestle RM1 to RM135.50 and Dutch Lady 84 sen to RM40.40.
AIRASIA rebounded 11 sen to 74 sen with 102.64 million shares done as investors turned more optimistic about its outlook following the sharp selldown.
Public Bank rose 48 sen to RM15.72 and added 2.95 points, CIMB eight sen higher at RM3.52 or 1.25 points while Maybank and Hong Leong Bank were unchanged at RM7.30 and RM14.20.
Tenaga closed up 28 sen to RM12.10 and gave the KLCI a 2.52 point push, IHH added 18 sen to RM5.10 and Hatalega nine sen higher at RM6.69.
As for telcos, Maxis advanced 17 sen to RM5.34 and pushed the KLCI up 2.1 points, Axiata 16 sen to RM3.43 and lifted the KLCI by 2.32 points and Digi added 15 sen to RM4.15.
Among plantations, PPB Group surged 98 sen to RM16.90, Sime Plantation rose five sen to RM4.70 and IOI Corp nine sen to RM3.75.
On the external front, China stocks were at a one-week high as US senators and Trump administration officials reached an agreement on a massive economic stimulus bill to cushion the economic hit from the coronavirus outbreak, Reuters reported.
The Shanghai Composite index closed up 2.2% at 2,781.59. The blue-chip CSI300 index gained 2.7%. Both benchmarks hit their highest since March 18 during the session.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei jumped more than 5% while the Hang Seng index closed up 3.8% at 23,527.19, having hit its highest level since March 16 during the session.
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