KUALA LUMPUR (April 6): The FBM KLCI closed up 11.04 points or 0.83% at 1,341.69 today while trading volume across Bursa Malaysia neared six billion shares after Asian equities ended higher as investors weighed the possibility that the increase in new Covid-19 cases has slowed. The Saudi Arabia-Russia crude oil price war is also closely watched.
At 5pm, trade volume across Bursa ended at 5.99 billion shares worth RM2.61 billion as oil and gas-related share prices rose among top-active stocks.
"Investors are now trying to find pockets of positive developments and are seeking trading opportunities," Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd research vice-president Vincent Lau told theedgemarkets.com.
“As such, any positive developments will make a difference to investor sentiment,” Lau said.
TA Securities Holdings Bhd wrote in a note today that conflicting signals flashed on momentum and trend indicators of the KLCI following last week's choppy trading sessions imply stocks will need to rebuild support at current levels and convince investors of a more sustainable recovery ahead.
"On the other hand, given uncertainty over the severity of the economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic, which already saw massive job losses and spikes in infection rates in the US and Europe, more downside volatility should be expected,” TA said.
Across Bursa today, the index for small market capitalisation stocks closed up 3.72% while the energy index, which tracks oil and gas-related shares, rose 4.39%.
Oil and gas-related shares, including Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd and Sapura Energy Bhd, ended among Bursa’s top-active stocks, as investors evaluated the possibility of a truce in the Saudi Arabia-Russia price war, which has increased the global supply of the commodity and sent prices lower. Bursa top-active stock Hibiscus rose six sen or 13.33% to 51 sen, with some 441 million shares traded.
Reuters reported that oil prices skidded on Monday after Saudi-Russian negotiations to cut output were delayed, keeping oversupply concerns alive, while stocks jumped as investors were encouraged by a slowdown in coronavirus-related deaths and new cases. In currency markets, it was reported that the sterling fell 0.4% early in Asia after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to hospital following persistent coronavirus symptoms 10 days after testing positive for the virus.
It was reported that Brent crude fell as much as US$4 after Saudi Arabia and Russia postponed their meeting, initially scheduled for Monday, to Thursday even as the virus pandemic pummels demand. It was reported that equity investors, however, took solace as the death toll from the coronavirus slowed across major European nations, including France and Italy.
It was reported that US stock futures rose 3.2% during Asian trading after US President Donald Trump expressed hope the country was seeing a "levelling off" of the coronavirus crisis. Futures for London's FTSE were up 1.7% while those for Eurostoxx 50 gained 2.6%.