KUALA LUMPUR: Banks and glove makers underpinned the FBM KLCI's stronger close on Thursday as investors were looking past the Covid-19-hit second quarter economic performance to a stronger year for the country.
At 5pm, the FBM KLCI was up 19.78 points or 1.27% to 1,576.42. Turnover declined to 11.66 billion shares valued at RM4.97bil. The broader market was positive with 607 gainers, 491 losers and 405 counters unchanged.
Bank Negara is scheduled to announce its second quarter GDP data at midday on Friday. Due to the impact of the pandemic, it is likely to revise its earlier growth forecast for this year and next year. A Bloomberg survey showed a 10.7% contraction in 2Q compared with a 0.7% growth in 1Q.
RAM Ratings expects the economy to contract by 4% this year, exceeding its initial projection of -2.4% as the country is set to experience one of its worst recessions this year.
Reuters reported optimism among investors over an economic recovery and US-China trade talks later this week pushed key stock markets higher. US inflation data on Wednesday dispelled concerns about deflation in the world's largest economy and added to signs at the start of this week that China is recovering from the coronavirus crisis faster than previously thought.
More than 20.69 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 749,028 have died, according to a Reuters tally. Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.
At Bursa, Maybank closed 15 sen higher at RM7.80 and nudged the KLCI up 2.64 points, Public Bank added 40 sen to RM17.80 and nudged the index up 2.43 points, CIMB six sen higher at RM3.60 and Hong Leong Bank two sen to RM15.02.
Top Glove added 50 sen to RM25 and added 2.12 points to the KLCI while Hartalega's 44 sen gain to RM16.56 boosted the index by 2.36 points.
Firmer crude oil prices saw Petronas Chemicals adding 12 sen to RM6.02, Petronas Gas six sen to RM16.08 and Petronas Dagangan 50 sen to RM21.20. Dialog was unchanged at RN3.64.
Crude palm oil for third month delivery rose RM28 to RM2,716 per tonne. PPB Group rose 18 sen to RM19.10, IOI Corp rose eight sen to RM4.50, Sime Plantation six sen to RM5.15 and KL Kepong four sen to RM22.70.
Tenaga gained two sen to RM11.16, Genting five sen to RM4.02 but GentingM shed one sen to RM2.44.
As for telcos, Telekom rose three sen to RM3.80, Maxis two sen to RM5.14, Digi one sen to RM4.12 and Axiata flat at RM3.15.
IJM Corp fell 13 sen to RM1.40 on a news report it would be dropped from the MSCI Global Standard Indexes constituent.
The ringgit rose 0.04% against the US dollar to 4.1912.
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