At closing, the FBM KLCI advanced 6.93 points, or 0.47% to 1,496.73. The index opened 1.96 points higher at 1,491.76.
There were 520 gainers against 449 decliners while 459 counters unchanged. About 3.68 billion shares, valued at RM2.20bil, changed hands.
Dealers said market sentiment picked up following the announcement of the relaxations in Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) for fully vaccinated individuals over the weekend.
PublicInvest Research, in a report on Monday, lowered its KLCI year-end 2021 closing to 1,590 from 1,690 previously due to higher risk premiums. It said earnings growth momentum, albeit affected slightly by recent lockdown measures, remained largely intact.
Among the FBM KLCI component stocks, Genting jumped 18 sen to RM4.73, MISC rose 13 sen to RM6.71, Genting Malaysia 11 sen and MR DIY 10 sen to RM3.61. Up eight sen was Hartalega to RM6.71 while Tenaga added seven sen to RM9.68.
Expectations that the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions especially for vaccinated Malaysians helped generate interest in Genting and GentingM.
However, Petronas Dagangan fell 20 sen to RM18.50, HLFG lost 10 sen to RM17.20 and Sime Plantation eased seven sen to RM3.43.
Semicon-related counters were mixed. Genetec was the top gainer, gaining 78 sen to a fresh high of RM25.40, Greatec 25 sen to RM7.10 while Vitrox gained 18 sen to RM19.84. MPI fell 70 sen to RM44.70, KESM 38 sen to RM13.02 and Kobay 17 sen to RM4.51.
Consumer stocks closed higher, led by Heineken Malaysia, which climbed 60 sen to RM22.60 and Carlsberg 44 sen to RM21.54 while F&N added 24 sen to RM25.84.
Pecca, which had rallied in recent weeks, aided by its healthcare venture, came under some profit taking, falling 20 sen to RM3.78.
Jewelery makers Tomei fell four sen to 91 sen while Poh Kong declined one sen to 80.5 sen as gold prices slipped.
Reuters reported the gold slipped to a more than four-month low on Monday as solid US jobs data stoked concerns of a sooner-than-expected interest rate hike, which could increase the opportunity cost of holding non-interest bearing bullion.
Spot gold fell 1.1% to US$1,744.25 per ounce by 0616 GMT.
Bursa Malaysia Bhd and its subsidiaries will be closed tomorrow, in conjunction with Awal Muharram and resume operations on Wednesday.
Oil prices fell more than 3% on Monday on concerns that new Covid-19 restrictions in Asia, especially China, could halt a global recovery in fuel demand.
Brent crude futures fell by US$2.44, or 3.45%, to US$68.26 a barrel while the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) fell US$2.47, or 3.62%, to US$65.81 per barrel.
Asian stock markets closed broadly higher in thin holiday trading with markets in Japan and Singapore closed.
South Korea’s Kospi index closed down 9.94 points, or 0.30%, to 3,260.42
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.4%, to 26,283.40.
China’s CSI300 index rose 1.3% to 4,985.56, while the Shanghai Composite Index rose 1% to 3,494.63.