Public Bank and Hong Leong Bank boost KLCI

KUALA LUMPUR: Public Bank gave the FBM KLCI a big boost early Wednesday after its bonus plan while key Asian markets rose to fresh records, tracking the firm overnight close on Wall Street.

At 10am, the KLCI was up 16.83 points or 1.03% to 1,648.53. Turnover was 3.38 billion shares valued at RM1.65bil. There were 423 gainers, 534 losers and 377 counters unchanged.

Bloomberg reported Asian equities climbed after a fresh record for their U.S. counterparts, as hopes for a stimulus deal tempered concern about a surge in coronavirus cases.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.8%, Japan’s Topix index climbed 0.6%, South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.9%, Shanghai Composite gained 0.2% and Euro Stoxx 50 futures rose 0.3%.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin presented a new US$916bil Covid-19 relief proposal to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who hailed progress in the negotiations though deemed parts of the plan as "unacceptable”.

Public Bank jumped RM1.56 to RM20.02 with 9.24 million shares done after its four-for-one bonus issue. LPI, which is a major shareholder in Public Bank, added 44 sen to RM13.44.

Hong Leong Bank gained 76 sen to RM18.98 and HLFG added 34 sen to RM17.54.

UWC was up 41 sen to RM9.25 and MPI 28 sen to RM25.70.

AAX jumped 4.5 sen to 11.5 sen with 444 million shares done while AirAsia climbed 5.5 sen to 93.5 sen with 110 million units traded.

Refiners Petron and Hengyuan slipped on profit taking after the recent run-up. Petron lost 30 sen to RM5.46 and Hengyuan 25 sen to RM5.86.

Supermax lost 23 sen to RM802, Adventa and Comfort 18 sen each to RM1.83 and RM3.74 while Careplus was down 16 sen to RM2.73.

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