Maybank, Hong Leong Bank lead FBM KLCI higher

KUALA LUMPUR: After a brief time in the red, the FBM KLCI rallied into positive territory as optimism over the economy pushed bank stocks higher.

However, the market breadth was overwhelmingly negative with 491 decliners compared to 191 gainers and 566 unchanged.

At 12.30pm, the benchmark index was up 4.12 points to 1,554.29.

Financial counters surged, led by Maybank climbing 10 sen to RM8.44, Hong Leong Bank jumping 72 sen to RM19.92 and Public Bank adding three sen to RM4.21.

CIMB lagged the sector, down five sen to RM5.62.

Other gainers included Press Metal rising three sen to RM5.91, Petronas Gas adding 12 sen to RM16.74 and IOI gaining four sen to RM3.92.

Semiconductor stocks however were on the retreat amid expectations of higher lending costs in the global economy

MPI dropped RM1 to RM46.90, Vitrox shed 68 sne to RM18.44 and KESM slid 26 sen to RM12.34.

Among actives, AHB was up 3.5 sne to 29 sen, DNeX shed three sen to 85.5 sen and MMAG lost 0.5 sen to 9.5 sen.

In regional markets, sentiment was subdued as investors awaited more details on the US Federal Reserve's monetary policy.

Japan's Nikkei was down 0.8%, South Korea's Kospi rose 0.1% and China's benchmark index slid 0.1%.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.4% while Australia's ASX200 dropped 0.7%.
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Bursa Malaysia , FBM KLCI , equities


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