KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia got off on a positive note early Wednesday, boosted by gains in Malaysia Airports (MAHB), Hong Leong Bank and IHH Healthcare while Asian markets recorded steady gains.
At 9.13am, the FBM KLCI was up 4.42 points or 0.28% to 1,590.32. Turnover was 681.43 million shares valued at RM345.16mil. There were 306 gainers, 197 losers and 261 counters unchanged.
Bloomberg reported oil extended gains after closing at the highest since October 2018 as OPEC+ provided an upbeat assessment of the demand outlook and the prospect of a speedy return of Iranian barrels to the market waned.
West Texas Intermediate rose by 2.1% and Brent was above $70 a barrel at the close for the first time since 2019.
Asian stocks made a steady start after US equities inched lower as the tussle between economic optimism and inflation concern continues to play out in markets.
Japanese stocks fluctuated while Australia and South Korea posted modest gains. US equity contracts were flat after the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 closed with small losses. US manufacturing data overnight topped estimates but also signaled supply shortages and labour constraints, Bloomberg reported.
At Bursa Tuesday, local retail investors remained net buyers at RM257.2mil but foreign funds turned net sellers RM41.1mil and local funds continued to reduce their shareholdings by net RM216.1mil.
Pharmaniaga rose 39 sen to RM6.13 as investors chased the stock on news reports that it has received a request to supply seven million doses of Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine to government-linked companies (GLCs) and state governments
MAHB rose 20 sen to RM5.80, Hong Leong Bank 20 sen also to RM18.40 and IHH seven sen to RM5.46.
Other gainers were Petron, 11 sen to RM4.72, Westports 11 sen also to RM4.39 and MSM seven sen to RM1.29.
Serba Dinamik, which hit limit down on Monday and Tuesday, before staging a recovery, saw the share price climb six sen to 89.5 sen.
However, brewers Carlsberg and Heineken fell on news that the government had ordered them to stop operations during the lockdown from June 1 to 14.
Carlsberg fell 58 sen to RM21.92 and Heineken 14 sen to RM23.34.
Plantations KL Kepong and PPB Group shed eight sen each to RM21.98 and RM18.54.
Chip maker MPI was down 38 sen to RM39.42 on profit taking.