KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia was given a boost on Thursday after the RM322.5bil federal budget, the nation's largest ever, was passed despite a call by the Opposition for bloc voting.
The policy stage of Budget 2021 was passed with a voice vote at 3.24pm in Parliament on Thursday and this saw investors’ risk appetite for equities perk up.
At 5pm, the FBM KLCI was up 14.53 points or 0.91% to 1,612.11, a strong recovery from the early low of 1,592. Turnover was 8.86 billion shares valued at RM4.67bil. Advancers beat decliners nearly two to one or 816 gainers to 412 losers and 428 counters unchanged.
Investor sentiment was also shored up by firmer key Asian markets. China's main stock indexes ended higher, rebounding from two days of losses as gains in financial and consumer shares offset drops in health care, tech and new energy vehicle firms.
At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was up 0.22% at 3,369.73. The blue-chip CSI300 index was up 0.18%, Reuters reported.
At Bursa, MPI’s strong earning saw it chalking up gains of RM1.88 to RM25.48 while KESM added 74 sen to RM10.76.
Oil slipped, stalling a rally driven by a surprise fall in US crude inventories that added to bullishness over expectations progress on vaccines may end the coronavirus pandemic and revive fuel demand, Reuters reported.
Brent futures were down 1 cent at $48.60 a barrel by 0746 GMT, after rising around 1.6% in the previous session. West Texas Intermediate crude was off by 4 cents at $45.67 a barrel.
Petronas Dagangan added 70 sen to RM22, Petronas Chemicals nine sen to RM6.90 while Petronas Gas was flat at RM17.14. Dialog inched up one sen to RM3.70.
Supermax was the top gainer among the glove makers, up 51 sen to RM8.59. Hartalega gained 30 sen to RM14.66.
Top Glove’s reassurance to investors following the Covid-19 outbreak among its workers saw it bouncing 40 sen to RM7.05.
Electrical products manufacturer Khind surged 65 sen to RM2.84.
As for plantations, Batu Kawan gained 40 sen to RM17.12, KL Kepong six sen higher at RM23.62, Sime Plantation added two sen to RM5.21 but IOI Corp fell one sen to RM4.49 and PPB Group four sen to RM18.80.
Sime Darby added three sen to RM2.43 after net profit of RM281mil in the first quarter rose by 14.2% on strong growth in the group's motor division, especially in China.
Tenaga gained two sen to RM11 after net profit for the third quarter ended Sept 30,2020 came to RM1.01bil, a 16.07% drop from RM1.2bil a year ago due to higher finance cost, which was cushioned by forex gain and a non-cash fair value gain.
Vivocom fell five sen to 80.5 sen with 406 million shares done while GETS Global lost soiox sen to RM2.90.
Among the banks, Public Bank lost 20 sen to RM18.72 and Maybank three sen to RM8.19 but CIMB gained three sen to RM3.81, Hong Leong Bank four sen to RM17.08 and RHB Bank two sen to RM5.07.