KUALA LUMPUR: The banking industry’s move to provide a targeted moratorium extension and provision of repayment flexibility to hard-hit individuals and SMEs helped lift market sentiment in late trading on Wednesday.
At 5pm, the FBM KLCI managed to claw back slightly higher by 1.48 points or 0.09% to 1,611.42. Turnover was 10.54 billion shares valued at RM6.95bil. There were 398 gainers, 685 losers and 411 counters unchanged.
Bank Negara Malaysia said ahead of the blanket moratorium ending on Sept 30,2020, it had been working closely with banks to ensure that assistance continues to be provided to borrowers affected by Covid-19.
Maybank fell eight sen to RM7.85 but CIMB and AmBank eked out one sen gain each to RM3.60 and RM2.99 while Public Bank added two sen to RM17.54.
More than 16.82 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 660,546 have died, according to a Reuters tally.
HLT-WA surged 27.5 sen to 92.5 sen with 312 million units done and its shares gained 23 sen to RM1.35 with 181.88 million shares traded.
However, Supermax fell 32 sen to RM18.68 and Top Glove 26 sen to RM26.14.
PPB Group was the top gainer among the plantation stocks.
As for chip maker MPI, it climbed 40 sen to RM12.70 while Vitrox advanced 42 sen to RM11.84.
Bursa continued to extend its decline, down 44 sen to RM9.60 after hitting a record high earlier on Tuesday ahead of the release of its strong 2Q results.
Among consumer stocks, F&N was down 38 sen to RM32.06, Dutch Lady 30 sen to RM40.20 and Ajinomoto 24 sen to RM15.
As for plantations, PPB Group rose 42 sen to RM19.50 but KLK lost 14 sen to RM23.68 while Sime Plantation and IOI Corp shed a sen each to RM5.15 and RM4.55.
On the external front, China's benchmark index posted the biggest gain in more than a week on Wednesday as investors bought up shares after recent slumps, while the tech-focused STAR board soared on new listings, Reuters reported.
At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was up 2.06% at 3,294.55, its best daily performance since July 20.
The blue-chip CSI300 index was up 2.42%, the largest daily gain since last Monday, with its financial sector sub-index higher by 2.22%.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index edged up, buoyed by strong inflows from onshore market, though concerns over a resurgence of coronavirus cases in the city kept gains in check.
At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was up 117.41 points, or 0.47%, at 24,801.94. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 0.37% to 10,176.14.
Reuters reported gold eased as investors booked profits from a record run and caution set in as investors awaited the end of a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting expected to reinforce dovish policy to aid a virus-hit economy.
Spot gold was down 0.1% to $1,956.46 per ounce by 0946 GMT. Prices hit a record $1,980.57 on Tuesday. U.S. gold futures firmed 0.5% to $1,953.40.
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