KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia joined key Asian markets to close higher on Monday, boosted by stronger-than-expected China factory output data and the signing of a deal to form the world's largest free trade bloc.
At 5pm, the FBM KLCI was up 9.97 points or 0.63% to 1,599.66. Turnover was robust with 16.09 billion shares done valued at RM6.71bil. There were 776 gainers, 532 losers and 388 counters unchanged.
Reuters reported China's factory output rose faster than expected in October and retail sales surged as the recovery in the world's second-largest economy from its Covid-19 slump gathered momentum.
On Sunday, the 15 Asia-Pacific economies signed a deal to form the world's largest free trade bloc, bolstering expectations for the pace of future economic growth.
They signed a China-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which accounts for 30% of the global economy and excludes the United States. The group aims to lower tariffs and may aid in the post-pandemic recovery amid fractured relations between the Washington and Beijing, Reuters reported.
China’s blue-chip CSI300 index rose 1.0%, to 4,904.17, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 1.1% to 3,346.97. The Hang Seng index ended 224.81 points or 0.86% higher at 26,381.67.
The Nikkei 225 Index ended 2.05% firmer at 25,906.93, its highest close since June 1991. after the economy posted its first expansion in four quarters.
At Bursa, Public Bank and Hong Leong Bank rose 72 sen each to RM18.48 and RM17.06.
MAHB and MISC added 40 sen each to RM5.58 and RM7.60 while Genting gained 35 sen to RM4.14.
GETS was the top gainer up 80 sen to RM3.97 with 14.53 million shares while Vivocom jumped 45 sen to RM1.95 with 110.6 million shares. Both stocks have attracted heavy speculative interest.
As for semicon counters, MPI was up 70 sen to RM24.20 but Unisem lost 38 sen to RM5.48.
Glove makers retreated on profit taking and also on news about the progress in the Covid-19 vaccine.
Hartalega fell the most, down 88 sen to RM14.50, Supermax 78 sen to RM8, Top Glove 58 sen to RM7.20 and Kossn 40 sen to RM6.26.
Among the breweries, Heineken gave up part of its gains, falling 62 sen to RM21.80 and Carlsberg 40 sen to RM22.88.
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