KUALA LUMPUR: Hong Leong Bank and Public Bank led the FBM KLCI higher early Friday as investors picked up banking stocks which were the proxy to the recovery in the economy.
Firmer crude oil prices also gave refiners and also oil and gas stocks a boost including Yinson while penny stocks rose in active trade.
At 9.15am, the KLCI was up 8.03 points or 0.49% to 1,662.42. Turnover was 1.16 billion shares valued at RM418.06mil. There were 410 gainers, 255 losers and 365 counters unchanged.
At Bursa on Thursday, local funds were net buyers at RM119.2mil and retail investors at RM41.5mil but foreign funds remained net sellers at RM160.7mil.
In early Friday trade, HLFG rose 40 sen to RM18.40, HLBank 36 sen to RM19.26 and Public Bank 30 sen to RM20.50.
Brent surged above US$50 a barrel for the first time since early March, fueled by hopes of a faster demand recovery as countries start to roll out Covid-19 vaccines, Reuters reported.
Refiners Hengyuan and Petron rebounded, with Hengyuan up 44 sen to RM6.77 and Petron 35 sen to RM6.17.
Yinson gained 16 sen to RM5.85. Sapura Energy rose one sen to 13.5 sen and it was the most active with 122 million shares done, Bumi Armada gained three sen to 39 sen, KNM 1.5 sen to to 23 sen, Alam Maritim one sen to 10 sen and Hibiscus 3.5 sen to 65 sen.