KUALA LUMPUR: Investors are continuing to shore up global equities prices amid optimism that the US inflation report due out tonight will reveal easing inflation.
Bursa Malaysia tracked the bullish sentiment, with the benchmark FBM KLCI gaining 14.78 points in the morning session to 1,527.25 as it played catch-up following the three-day Chinese New Year weekend.
The performance of the broader market was underpinned by 499 gainers, 317 decliners and 353 counters unchanged.
There was a total of 1.05 billion shares traded for a value of RM878.6mil.
Bank stocks were among the most improved with CIMB rising 10 sen to RM6.29, Maybank gaining 12 sen to RM9.38, Public Bank adding three sen to RM4.38 and Hong Leong Bank climbing 24 sen to RM19.20.
PETRONAS Chemicals climbed 12 sen to RM6.83, Sime Darby Plantation rose eight sen to RM4.53 and IHH gained seven sen to RM6.19.
Of actives, YNH Property jumped 6.5 sen to 68 sen, Widad rose 0.5 sen to 12.5 sen and Reneuco added 0.5 sen to six sen.
YTL Corp, which will gain admission into the MSCI Malaysia Index on Feb 29, rose one sen to 2.33 on heavily traded volume, while YTL Power, also to be included on the country index, fell three sen to RM4.02.
In Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei showed no sign of pausing a rally, soaring 2.5% to 37,815 for year-to-date gains of 13.6%.
South Korea's Kospi was up 1% to 2,646
China's markets, meanwhile, remained closed for the Lunar New Year festivities.