KUALA LUMPUR (May 18): The FBM KLCI finished up 6.72 points or 0.48% at 1,410.16 today as trade volume across Bursa Malaysia rose to another record high in less than a week at 11.21 billion securities. Trade volume rose as higher crude oil prices led to heavy trading of shares in Bursa Malaysia-listed oil and gas (O&G)-related companies and as investors took cue from
14th Parliament’s third session’s first meeting, which went smoothly today.
At 5pm, Bursa saw 11.21 billion securities worth RM4.41 billion traded across the exchange. There were 663 gainers and 331 decliners as shares in O&G- and construction-related companies rose to be among the most active stocks and top gainers respectively.
“Oil price has gone back to US$30 [a barrel] which is a plus point for the country. Today’s session of Parliament went smoothly. As such, there is a more positive sentiment,” Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd research vice president Vincent Lau told theedgemarkets.com.
At a glance, the KLCI jumped when Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah delivered his royal address during the Parliament meeting, which started at about 10am today.
It was reported that in the royal address, the King cautioned politicians not to once again drag the country into political turmoil, especially now that the people are putting up with hardship and facing a difficult future as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Quoting the King, Bernama reported that the country’s investment approval processes, especially for high-impact projects, should be made more efficient and quickly.
It was reported that His Majesty said the improvements are important to attract more quality investments into the country.
“Realising the importance of investment injection to boost the country’s economy, my government will continue to simplify business processes to enhance investment activities. These include the need to update existing laws, approval processes and incentives,” the Yang di-Pertuan Agong said.
Bursa’s construction index could have jumped on the news. The construction gauge, which tracks shares in construction-related firms, closed up 8.51%, trailing the energy index’s 11.35% rise.
The energy index, which includes O&G-related companies, was the largest percentage gainer across the exchange as companies like Icon Offshore Bhd and Velesto Energy Bhd ended among Bursa’s top active stocks. Icon was the most active with some 691 million shares traded. The stock closed up five sen or 66.67% at 12.5 sen.
Leading gainers included bourse operator and regulator Bursa Malaysia Bhd and construction firm Gamuda Bhd. Bursa shares closed up 87 sen or 13.12% at RM7.50 while Gamuda rose 33 sen or 10.09% to RM3.60.
Globally, it was reported that oil prices climbed by more than US$1 a barrel today, supported by output cuts and signs of gradual demand recovery amid easing Covid-19 curbs, with US oil showing no signs of last month’s contract expiry price rout.
Reuters reported that Brent crude was up US$1.06, or 3.3%, at US$33.56 a barrel by 0452 GMT after touching its highest since April 13. US West Texas Intermediate crude was up US$1.29, or 4.4%, at US$30.72 a barrel after rising to its highest since March 16.
Trade volume across Bursa closed up at another all-time high today after rising last Wednesday to the previous record high of 9.59 billion units as the spectre of a resurgence of the Covid-19 outbreak dictated world stock market sentiment then.
Prior to last Wednesday, Bursa’s all-time-high trading volume was recorded on Aug 20, 2014, when the exchange saw 7.67 billion securities transacted.