KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 29): Malaysian stocks closed higher for the fourth day running today, the highest close since Nov 9, led by gains in AMMB Holdings Bhd, Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd, Axiata Group Bhd, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd and DiGi.Com Bhd.
At closing bell, the FBM KLCI index gained 14.63 points or 0.88% to 1,685.36 points.
Jupiter Securities chief market strategist Benny Lee said while investor sentiment remains in the bearish territory, stock declines over the past few weeks have brought some buying opportunities for those participating in the end-of-year trading season.
"Unless the composite index hits 1,740 points, then it might not seem that the sentiment is that bullish because the index faces resistance at this level," he told theedgemarkets.com over the phone today.
Bloomberg data showed that the KLCI last breached the 1,740-point level on Aug 3, when it closed at 1,744.19 points. The index fell to the year's lowest closing of 1,532.14 points in a matter of three weeks.
On the broader market, there were 1.88 billion shares collectively valued at RM1.71 billion traded, lower than the volume of 2 billion usually recorded.
Lee said this indicates that many investors are still away on holiday.
Gainers edged decliners at 452 and 397, respectively.
Lee said many export-oriented stocks and oil and gas counters closed higher today.
Today's most actively traded counter was Hubline Bhd, followed by Borneo Oil Bhd, and Hubline's warrant HUBLINE-WB.
The biggest gainers were British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd, and Time dotCom Bhd.
Conversely, the worst decliners comprised Allianz Malaysia Bhd, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd and PMB Technology Bhd.
Regionally, Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 0.93%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 0.36% and China's Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.85%. South Korea's Kospi closed up 0.11% and Singapore's Straits Times Index rose 0.45%.
Reuters reported Asian stocks poked into positive territory today, shrugging off early losses as Chinese shares rose a day after marking their biggest loss in a month and crude prices took back some lost ground.
(Note: The Edge Research's fundamental score reflects a company's profitability and balance sheet strength, calculated based on historical numbers. The valuation score determines if a stock is attractively valued or not, also based on historical numbers. A score of 3 suggests strong fundamentals and attractive valuations.)