Bursa closes higher as optimism over coronavirus, oil deal prevails

  • Markets
  • Thursday, 09 Apr 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: Global equities continued their advance on hopes that the coronavirus outbreak was being brought under control even as buying interest returned to the oil and gas sector.

Asian markets were mostly higher as some risk appetite returned to equities. China's benchmark index was 0.4% higher while Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 1.4%.

South Korea's Kospi gained 1.6% while Australia's ASX200 put on an impressive 3.5%. Japan's market was a laggard, ending 0.6% in the red.

In Southeast Asia, equity markets were similarly positive, led by Singapore's and Thailand stock exchanges, which put on about 1% each.

The FBM KLCI followed suit over the course of the day's trading to end Thursday 8.37 points higher at 1,369.76.

The rapid pace of trading saw the 4.71 billion shares exchanging hands to the value of RM2.25bil. Market breadth was positive with 634 gainers versus 252 decliners and 374 counters unchanged.

Oil and gas counters had another bullish performance on the back of improving crude oil prices as investors anticipate a positive result from the meeting between Opec members and its allies later today.

Crude prices were spurred on over the Thursday session with Brent extending its gains by over 3% to US$33.86 a barrel while WTI crude jumped 4% to US$25.99 a barrel.

Counters seen benefiting from the improved outlook on the commodity topped the list of most-heavily trade stocks on Thursday. These included Bumi Armada up one sen to 18.5 sen, SAPURA ENERGY gaining 0.5 sen to 11 sen and Hibiscus Petroleum adding two sen to 52.5 sen.

Among the KLCI-listed heavyweights, 21 of the 30 stocks showed positive performances. Standouts included Sime Darby Plantation, which climbed 19 sen to RM4.95, and Hartalega, which rose 17 sen to RM7.44.

Bank stocks were also on the advance with the exception of Ambank, which ended unchanged at RM2.95, while Tenaga Nasional put on 10 sen to RM12.04.

On the currencies market, the ringgit was 0.25% stronger against the US dollar at 4.3340, and 0.1% higher against the pound sterling at 5.3750 and Singapore dollar at 3.0435.
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