KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia remained higher at midday on continuous buying support in index-linked counters, led by Kuala Lumpur Kepong (KLK) and Hong Leong Financial Group, amid advances in regional bourses.
At lunch break, the benchmark FBM KLCI added 4.42 points or 0.3% to 1,493.22.
There were 632 gainers compared with 329 decliners. Trading volume was 2.34 billion shares valued at RM1.5bil.
At midday, the ringgit was quoted at 4.4070, up 0.88%.
Reuters reported that Asian equities jumped on Thursday, while the dollar slid as investors poured into risky assets.
China's Shanghai composite index rose 0.65% to 3,171.85 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng leapt 1.6% to 18,895.51.
Japan's Nikkei gained 1.06% to 28,265.80 while South Korea's Kospi gained 0.17% to 2,476.76.
Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 737.24 points, or 2.18%, to 34,589.77. The S&P 500 climbed 3.09% to end the session at 4,080.11 points while the Nasdaq gained 4.41% to 11,468.00 points.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank might scale back the pace of its interest rate hikes as soon as December.
“With the strong surge on Wall Street, the positive sentiment may spillover to stocks on the local exchange; buying interest has returned following the US Fed Chair’s speech on scaling back the pace of interest rate hikes as well as the easing restrictions in selected region in China.
“Meanwhile, on the local front, investors may monitor the formation of the Cabinet and the re-tabling of Budget 2023,” Malacca Securities said.
The research house said investors should see buying momentum building up in technology stocks following the sharp gains in Nasdaq as the narrative from the Fed is turning less hawkish.
“Besides, investors may favour the energy counters following the surge in crude oil price and the positive earnings growth registered in the recent reporting season,” it added.
Among the losers, Nestle shed RM2.20, PETRONAS Dagangan fell 70 sen to RM23.08, Perusahaan Sadur Timah eased 22 sen to RM4.10 and Apex lost 18 sen to 80 sen.