Tech counters surge on Bursa
KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia's technology sector outperformed the rest of the market as it tracked the Nasdaq Index, which jumped 2% overnight on developments in the US interest rate policy.
The Bursa Malaysia Technology Index climbed 2.6% to 69.4, marking its highest level in eight months.
Notable tech gainers included KESM rising 19 sen to RM7.49, MPI gaining 32 sen to RM33.50, Pentamaster surging 32 sen to RM5.15 and D&O adding 18 sen to RM4.90.
Global markets were generally upbeat following the US Federal Reserve's 25 basis point rate hike that came within expectations, and comments that efforts to rein in rising prices had yielded results.
The positive sentiment spilled over to Bursa Malaysia, which saw a broad-based return in buying interest.
Market activity was positive with 559 gainers compared with 327 decliners. Trading volume was also seen picking up to 3.15 billion shares valued at RM1.44mil.
However, the blue-chip FBM KLCI was seen making conservative gains and failed to make much headway out of its consolidation channel.
The benchmark index, which hit an intra-morning high of 1,493.21, pared its gains to 1.95 points at 1,487.45 at the midday break.
Despite the optimistic external developments, investors were quick to take profit ahead of corporate earnings scheduled to be released in the coming weeks, as investors awaited fresh domestic catalysts to bolster trading activity.
Leading blue chips on the FBM KLCI were PETRONAS Gas climbing 12 sen to RM16.94, Press Metal rising nine sen to RM5.27 and Sime Darby Plantation adding six sen to RM4.39.
Top actives on the market included Borneo Oil unchanged at two sen, Hong Seng up 1.5 sen to 21.5 sen and Velesto rising 2.5 sen to 25.5 sen.
Regionally, the Fed announcement spurred on a bullish narrative alongside China's reopening theme.
Japan's Nikkei rose 0.1% to 27,388, South Korea's Kospi gained 0.9% to 2,471 and China's composite index rose 0.3% to 3,294.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng rallied 0.4% to 22,162 while Australia's ASX200 added 0.2% to 7,515.