KUALA LUMPUR: Public Bank led blue chips higher in early Tuesday trade amid a cautious external market as investors awaited a decision from US lawmakers to pass an economic stimulus bill ahead of the Nov 3 presidential elections.
At 9.15am, the FBM KLCI was up 1.48 points or a mere 0.1% to 1,519.59. Turnover was 1.42 billion shares valued at RM660.47mil. There were 231 gainers, 318 losers and 337 counters unchanged.
Asian stocks came under pressure on Tuesday as a deadline for US lawmakers to pass an economic stimulus bill approached and record daily coronavirus infections in Europe ignited concerns about more severe lockdowns, Reuters reported.
In early Asia trade, Australian stocks dipped at the open while MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.06%.
Chris Weston, the head of research at Melbourne brokerage Pepperstone, attributed the decline to worries about Washington's stimulus package and positioning ahead of the presidential election.
At Bursa on Monday, foreign funds turned net buyers at RM101.6mil while local institutions were net sellers at RM101.4mil and local retail investors at RM200,000.
In early Tuesday trade, Public Bank rose 12 sen to RM15.96. As for consumer stocks, Dutch Lady added 60 sen to RM38 and Carlsberg eight sen to RM19.16.
Scientex continued to attract strong interest climbing 24 sen to RM12.64. Hong Seng Consolidated warrants jumped 22 sen to RM1.02.
Mah Sing’s foray into glove making and healthcare saw the property company's shares continuing to advance, up 12 sen to RM1.36. Supermax added eight sen to RM10.78.
Kotra climbed eight sen to RM3.44 as interest in healthcare products continued.
Yinson managed to eke out a mild rebound, up nine sen to RM4.91 after the selldown the previous day.
Luster was the most active stock, up five sen to 27.5 sen with 263 million shares done wheile its warrants gained 4.5 sen to 17.5 sen.
Aneka Jaringan shed 3.5 sen to 29.5 sen with 51.5 million shares done.
Tech and semicon stocks gave up some of Monday’s gains. PMBTech-LA fell 19 sen to RM2.71, Greatec 13 sen to RM7.80 and MPI 12 sen to RM20.28.
Sime Plantation lost five sen to RM4.95 and was a drag on the KLCI.