KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia was broadly higher in early Monday trade, with consumer stocks staging a recovery while overall market sentiment was more positive about the government’s latest restricted measures to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
At 9.10am, the KLCI was up 5.46 points or 0.35% to 1,567.63. Turnover was 452.61 million shares valued at RM210.61mil. There were 401 gainer, 132 losers and 267 counters unchanged.
Reuters reported Asian shares got off to a cautious start as investors anxiously awaited a key read on US inflation this week for guidance on monetary policy, while Bitcoin took a hammering after China cracked down on mining and trading of the cryptocurrency.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was barely changed in slow trade. Japan's Nikkei added 0.1% and South Korea was flat.
Nasdaq futures were off 0.2% and S&P 500 futures were a fraction firmer.
The crowded trade in bitcoin left it vulnerable to a sell off as investors rushed to the exits en masse, seeing it down 50% from it's all-time high. The cryptocurrency shed 13% on Sunday alone, and was last trading off 8% at $34,601, according to Reuters.
At Bursa last week, local funds were net sellers at RM100.20mil but local retail investors were net buyers at RM67.7mil and foreign funds at RM32.4mil.
Among the consumer stocks, Carlsberg rose 30 sen to RM21.18, Heineken 20 sen to RM24.88 and BAT 14 sen to RM15.58.
Choo Bee was the top gainer, up 43 sen to RM2.07, Hightec 39c to RM2.19, Trans Ocean 30 sen to RM5 and PPB 18 sen to RM18.68.
Among the tech and chip makers, MPI advanced 14 sen to RM35.50 and Vitrox 22 sen to RM15.
Widetec fell 30 sen to RM2.70 after the unusual market activity query last week, Time dotcom was down 16 sen to RM13.70, Genting Plantations 11 sen to RM8.45 and Genting 10 sen to RM4.67.