KUALA LUMPUR: Key Asian markets including Bursa Malaysia ended Tuesday on a firm note as investor sentiment was boosted by hope from the early-stage trial for a Covid-19 vaccine and firmer oil prices.
At 5pm, the FBM KLCI was up 13.81 points or 0.98% to 1,423.97. Turnover was lower at 9.51 billion shares compared with the all-time record high of 11.21 billion units the previous day.
Trading value was RM4.64 billion shares. The broader market was mixed with 500 gainers, 554 losers and 335 counters unchanged.
The early charge in penny oil and gas stocks slowed down in the afternoon session and reduced the trading volume from about six billion at midday break.
There was some profit taking in the afternoon as punters decided the rebound in oil prices might not be sustained and they could be tied up with the heavy bets on the penny stocks.
US light crude oil rose 70 cents to US$32.52 but Brent shed six cent to US$34.75.
KNM was the most active with 407.75 million shares done, down two sen to 22 sen. Velesto shed 0.5 sen to 16.5 sen with 381.80 million shares, Bumi Armada 1.5 sen lower at 24.5 sen and Icon Offshore shed 0.5 sen to 12 sen while Sapura Energy was flat at 10 sen and Hibiscus one sen lower at 60.5 sen.
Petronas Chemical rose 28 sen to RM5.84 and boosted the KLCI by 3.52 points, Petronas Dagangan gained 18 sen to RM20.24 but Petronas Gas shed 10 sen to RM15. Dialog gained 12 sen to RM3.65.
Crude palm oil for third month delivery rose RM38 to RM2,180 per tonne, the highest since April 20. Positive news that Indian buyers have resumed purchases of Malaysian palm oil after a four-month gap following a diplomatic row also provided the much needed boost.
KL Kepong rose 72 sen to RM21.22, Sime Plantation 12 sen to RM4.82 and added 1.29 points, PPB Group also up 12 sen to RM16.80 and IOI Corp eight sen to RM4.23. Batu Kawan rose 40 sen to RM13.60, Genting Plantations 36 sen to RM9.54 and United Plantations 26 sen to RM26.66.
Among the banks, Public Bank gained 14 sen to RM15.50, Maybank four sen to RM7.45, CIMB and Hong Leong Bank two sen each to RM3.48 and RM13.52.
Tenaga gained four sen to RM12.16, IHH Healthcare one sen to RM5.50 and MISC eightr sen to RM8.10.
As for telcos, Axiata gained three sen to RM3.91, Maxis was fdlat at RM5.30 and Digi shed two sen to RM4.47.
Green Packet fell 42 sen to RM1.02 and its warrants tumbled 20 sen to 26.5 sen on profit taking.
Glove makers retreated after the stunning rally as hopes of the Covid-19 vaccine prompted profit taking. Supermax lost 21 sen to RM4.25, Rubberex 21 sen to RM1.69, Comfort 18 sen to RM2.05, Hartalega 12 sen to RM9.01 and Top Glove two sen to RM10.48.
The ringgit firmed up against the US dollar, up 0.55% to 4.3480.
Among the key markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 1.49%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index 1.89%, Shanghai Composite 0.81%. South Korea's Kospi 2.25% and Singapore's STI 1.82%.
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