KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia rallied on Thursday with the FBM KLCI closing at the day’s high, underpinned by Public Bank, Petronas Chemicals and Axiata, tracking the key Asian markets as the gloom over the Covid-19 pandemic lifted.
At 5pm, the FBM KLCI was up 29.54 points or 1.85% to 1,628.26. Turnover was 12.37 billion shares valued at RM6.17bil. Advancing counters beat advancers nine to four or 907 gainers to 401 losers and 410 counters unchanged.
Analysts said the progress in the Covid-19 vaccines could have removed some of the gloom over the pandemic which saw stocks markets charting strong gains. The worst could be over, they said.
The rally on Bursa also mirrored the firmer key Asian markets. The Nikkei 225 Index ended up a modest 0.03% at 26,809.37, but settled near its highest since April 1991. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was up 0.74% at 26,728.50.
South Korea’s Kospi closed up 0.76% to a record high of 2,696, according to Reuters.
Analysts’ move to upgrade the banks – the proxy of an economic recovery -- saw investors piling into Public Bank and Hong Leong.
Public Bank, which was the biggest mover among the KLCI stocks, rallied 66 sen to RM18.60 and added 4.01 points to the 30-stock index, RHB Bank 31 sen higher at RM5.65 while Hong Leong Bank gained 18 sen to RM18.30 and CIMB five sen to RM3.84. Maybank rose three sen to RM8.30.
As for telcos, Axiata added 14 sen to RM3.84 and nudged the index by two points, . Maxis close 12 sen up to RM5.04 and added 1.47 points while Digi’s 12 sen to RM4.20 and added 1.46 points. Telekom rose 34 sen to RM5.37.
Brent crude was up 21 cents, or 0.4%, at $48.46 a barrel, after gaining 1.8% on Wednesday.
US light crude oil advanced 11 cents, or 0.2%, to $45.39 a barrel, having ended 1.6% higher the previous session.
Petronas Chemicals gained 29 sen to RM7.32 and 3.63 points and Petronas Dagangan 30 sen to RM21.50 while Petronas Gas lost 20 sen to RM17.60.
Power giant Tenaga Nasional rose 20 sen to RM11 and added 1.78 points but IHH Healthcare lost 10 sen to RM5.50.
Among the glove makers, Hartalega added 30 sen to RM14.66 and pushed the KLCI up 1.61 points. Top Glove, which had come under pressure recently over the Covid-19 infections among its workers, gained 10 sen to RM6.78 and added 1.28 points.
Among the consumer stocks, Carlsberg added 84 sen to RM20.64, BAT 62 sen to RM12.66 and Nestle 50 sen to RM137.50 but Apollo lost 13 sen to RM4.25.
Tech-related UWC’s strong earnings saw its share price jump 36 sen to RM8.30 but Greatec gave up 11 sen to RM8.57 on some profit taking.
Yong Tai surged 12.5 sen to 29.5 sen and it was the most active with over 800 million shares done.
Bintai Kinden hit limit-up, gaining 29.5 sen to RM1.14. Its partner Generex Biotechnology Corporation in November signed a US$50mil licensing and development deal for its Ii-Key vaccine platform technology.
The agreement, which was signed with its partners in China, was for the technology provided by Generex’s subsidiary NuGenerex Immuno-Oncology Inc.
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