Bursa Malaysia ends higher on improved market sentiment

Investors are cheering the easing of geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia continued its upbeat momentum to end higher for the second straight day yesterday, on improving sentiment and a resurgence in bargain-hunting following the recent downturn, says an analyst.

At 5pm, the FBM KLCI rose 4.34 points, or 0.28%, to 1,544.76 from Wednesday’s close of 1,540.42.

The benchmark index, which opened 0.58 of-a-point easier at 1,539.84, moved between 1,538.68 and 1,548.46 throughout the trading session.

On the broader market, gainers trounced decliners 570 to 469, while 493 counters were unchanged, 832 untraded and 21 others suspended.

Turnover widened to 3.84 billion units worth RM2.62bil from 3.45 billion units worth RM2.67bil on Wednesday.

Mohd Sedek Jantan, head of wealth research and advisory and designated portfolio manager at UOB Kay Hian Wealth Advisors, said the local bourse’s performance reflected a promising step forward from the recent downward trend, instilling optimism among investors.

Meanwhile, Apex Securities Bhd head of research Kenneth Leong said the improvement in the local market was evident as investors cheered the easing of geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.

He also highlighted that the positive development was spurred by the strengthening of the ringgit against the US dollar.

“Looking ahead, we anticipate a further recovery on the back of the calmer market conditions.

“Meanwhile, investors will be keeping a close tab on Malaysia’s advance reading for the gross domestic product in the first quarter of 2024 to be released today, which will guide the pace of the economic growth,” he told Bernama.

Among the heavyweights, Malayan Banking Bhd added seven sen to RM9.67, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd gained six sen to RM6.59, Tenaga Nasional Bhd put on eight sen to RM11.60, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd rose one sen to RM6.84 and Public Bank Bhd slipped one sen to RM4.14.

As for the actives, Ingenieur Gudang Bhd, Borneo Oil Bhd, Fitters Diversified Bhd and Velesto Energy Bhd inched down half-a-sen to 14 sen, 4.5 sen and 27 sen, respectively.

Meanwhile, Bursa Malaysia has approved UMediC Group Bhd’s transfer under the “Healthcare” sector.

It will take effect immediately two market days upon the announcement to the exchange on the transfer date via Bursa Malaysia’s Listing Information Network System.

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