Bursa boosted by improved sentiment

Higher liquidity gives investors confidence.

PETALING JAYA: After losing about 56 points or 3.5% in the first two weeks of May alone, the FBM KLCI closed higher yesterday in line with the positive sentiment seen among major regional markets.

Ahead of the peak results reporting season, the bellwether index of Bursa Malaysia rose by 0.27% or 4.19 points to 1,548.60 points.

Investors seem to be pleased by Malaysia’s stronger-than-expected economic growth in the first quarter and a slightly stronger crude oil price.

Some investors may also be “bargain hunting”, an analyst said, after many of the FBM KLCI constituents had a rough trading since early this month.

It remains to be seen whether the FBM KLCI can sustain its upward movement amid worries of global growth and a renewed economic crisis.

Malacca Securities Research said there could be headwinds ahead given the United States Federal Reserve’s (Fed) efforts to rein in inflation.

“Given the persistent inflation worries, we believe the recent rebound could be short- lived and we anticipate selling pressure to emerge in the near term once the Fed’s quantitative tightening takes place in June and this may affect the sentiment on the technology stocks,” it said.

The top three gainers among the FBM KLCI constituents were Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Bhd, Inari Amertron Bhd and Sime Darby Plantation Bhd.

Press Metal was up by 6.75%, while Inari and Sime Darby Plantation each increased by 2.34%.

The biggest losers, on the other hand, were MR DIY Group (M) Bhd, Hartalega Holdings Bhd and Sime Darby Bhd. Mr DIY was down by 4.51%, Hartalega fell by 2.73% and Sime Darby declined by 2.14%.

Across the overall domestic market, sentiment was also positive as 575 counters ended in the green against 408 losers.

A total of 424 counters remained unchanged.

Market liquidity was strong, with a total volume of securities traded at 5.51 billion. However, the value of securities traded was recorded at almost RM2.8bil.

Interestingly, two embattled oil and gas related counters, namely, Serba Dinamik Holdings Bhd and Sapura Energy Bhd, saw renewed trading interest.

Sapura Energy, which reported a massive net loss of almost RM9bil in the financial year ended Jan 31, rose by 66.67% or three sen to 7.5 sen.

Meanwhile, Serba Dinamik, which suffers from potential multi-billion-ringgit financial accounts irregularities, jumped by 37.5% or 4.5 sen to 16.5 sen.

Both Sapura and Serba Dinamik were the two most active counters on Bursa Malaysia yesterday.

Across the Asian region, key stock market indices mostly ended in the green.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 was up 0.42% yesterday, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped by 3.27% and South Korea’s Kospi rose by 0.92%.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index was up by 0.65% and Singapore’s Straits Times Index increased by 0.34%.

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