KUALA LUMPUR (March 5): The FBM KLCI bucked the regional trend to close higher, boosted by the positive performance of banking stocks and a rebound in glove counters.
The index was back above the 1,600 mark, closing at 1,600.12 for a gain of 18.86 points or 1.19% from yesterday.
Rakuten Trade Research head of equity sales Vincent Lau said market sentiment was buoyed by buying interest in banking stocks.
Sentiment was also lifted by bargain hunting among rubber glove stocks after the selldown yesterday, Lau told theedgemarkets.com.
Also contributing to the market’s positive performance was renewed buying of oil and gas (O&G) stocks on the back of an increase in oil prices after Saudi Arabia and its OPEC+ allies extended their production cuts.
The broader market, however, was mixed with 617 decliners versus 561 gainers. A total of 7.99 billion securities were traded for RM5.15 billion, lower than the 9.63 billion units worth RM5.37 billion yesterday.
Notable gainers included Top Glove Corp Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd (HLB), MISC Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd (KLK) and RHB Bank Bhd.
Other gainers included Central Global Bhd, Latitude Tree Holdings Bhd, Artroniq Bhd (formerly known as Plastrade Technology Bhd) and Solarvest Holdings Bhd.
Meanwhile, technology stocks dominated the list of top losers, led by Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, UWC Bhd, ViTrox Corp Bhd and KESM Industries Bhd.
On the other hand, O&G counters that were actively traded included Velesto Energy Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd, TH Heavy Engineering Bhd and Sapura Energy Bhd.
The Bursa Malaysia Energy Index, which tracks the performance of 25 O&G stocks, increased the most by percentage, closing up 3.15% at 951.51. This was followed by the Financial Services Index, which added 1.75% to 15,452.74.
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 dipped 0.23%, while South Korea's Kospi dropped 0.57%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slid 0.47%, while the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index fell 0.04%.
Bloomberg reported that Asian stocks and US futures pared losses today as investors digested comments from US Federal Reserve (Fed) chairman Jerome Powell that fell well short of trying to rein in bond yields.