KLCI closes 2% higher on bargain hunting, global uptrend

KLCI closes 2% higher on bargain hunting, global uptrend
-A +A

KUALA LUMPUR (March 25): The FBM KLCI closed higher for the second consecutive day today, riding on the optimism in global equities and as bargain hunting continued from the heavy sell-off earlier this month.

The benchmark index closed up 33.36 points or 2.58% at 1,324.5, after having touched an intra-day high of 1,341.86 in the morning session.

Gainers among component stocks were led by Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Nestle (M) Bhd and PPB Group Bhd, while RHB Bank Bhd and MISC Bhd slipped.

The broader market saw active trade with 4.33 billion shares worth RM2.83 billion exchanging hands.

Overall, gainers led decliners by 641 versus 267, while 356 counters closed unchanged.

Mid-cap stocks led the rally with the FBM Mid 70 Index — representing the 70 biggest companies after KLCI constituents — up 3.44% while the Small Cap Index rose 3.93%.

Consumer counters led the gainers’ list and they included Carlsberg Brewery (M) Bhd, followed by KLK, Heineken (M) Bhd and Nestle.

Decliners were led by structured warrants SP500-HJ, SP500-HL and FANG-1XI, while BLD Plantation Bhd, Fraser & Neave Bhd and Negri Sembilan Oil Palms Bhd were major losers.

Meanwhile energy stocks — which saw a sector-wide rebound — topped the active counters list, led by Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd and Velesto Energy Bhd.

The market pared some morning gains following news that Malaysia will extend the Movement Control Order for another two weeks to April 14 as new COVID-19 cases and the death toll rose further, but the positive sentiment prevailed.

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 8.04%, South Korea’s Kospi rose 5.89% and Hong Kong’s HSI rose 3.81%.

The MSCI AC Asia Pacific Index jumped 4.8% tracking Wall Street’s overnight gain on news that the US Congress COVID-19 stimulus package talks has turned out favourably.

US senators and Trump administration officials have reached an agreement on the US$2 trillion economic stimulus Bill, with voting by the Senate and the House of Representatives to be conducted later in the day.

“The US aid package has Main Street’s back, mainly as one critical measure sees the Government paying full salaries and health benefits to laid-off workers for up to four months,” said AxiCorp chief market strategist Stephen Innes in a note.

“This parachute is enormous and provides an excellent safety net for the millions that are lining up at the unemployment window this week,” Innes said.