KUALA LUMPUR: Tech stocks were among the gainers early Wednesday as investor sentiment was boosted by Wall Street tech giants while Public Bank, which had been oversold, regained its momentum.
At 9.07am, the FBM KLCI was up 6.69 points or 0.44% to 1,528.12. Turnover was 994.98 million shares valued at RM251.94mil. There were 391 gainers, 165 losers and 319 counters unchanged.
Chip maker MPI was the top gainer, up 70 sen to RM17.70, Greatec 11 sen to RM6.89 and KESM nine sen to RM8.78.
Public Bank climbed 24 sen to RM16.16 as analysts were upbeat about its defensive qualities.
Among the plantations, Kwantas, which was issued a takeover offer by its major shareholder, jumped 25 sen to RM1.40. Sungei Bagan gained 11 sen to RM2.55.
Other gainers were UWC, Ocean Cash and Panasonic.
Among the decliners were HLFG, down 18 sen to RN12.82, Kossan 12 sen to RM15.68, KPower seven sen to RM3.55, MISC and Telekom shed five sen each to RM7.50 and RM4.17.
As for jewelry makers, Tomei lost seven sen to RM1.16 and Poh Kong five sen to RM1.02.
At Bursa on Tuesday, foreign funds stepped up their net selling to RM379.9mil but the selling was well absorbed by local retail investors who were net buyers at RM200mil and local institutions RM180mil.
On the external front, Asian stocks climbed in early trading after another record high for their US peers as tech shares advanced and investors snapped up work-from-home winners, Bloomberg reported.
Stocks saw modest gains in Japan, Australia and South Korea. S&P 500 futures rose after a climb in Apple Inc. again pulled the benchmark to an all-time high. Zoom Video Communications Inc. earlier led a rally in companies well positioned for stay-at-home orders.
Meanwhile, Reuters reported spot gold was up 0.1% at $1,971.07 per ounce by 0032 GMT, after hitting its highest since Aug. 19 at $1,991.91 on Tuesday. US gold futures were steady at $1,978.90.
The dollar index held close to a more than two-year low on bets that US interest rates would stay low for longer under the new monetary policy approach from the Federal Reserve.
Brent crude futures were up 33 cents at $45.91 a barrel as of 0034 GMT, extending gains into a third day.
US West Texas Intermediate futures rose 33 cents to $43.09, following the previous day's gain by 15 cents.
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