KLCI ends higher for third day, investors in trading mode

KLCI ends higher for third day, investors in trading mode
-A +A

KUALA LUMPUR (March 26): The FBM KLCI managed to close higher for the third consecutive day today with investors in trading mode ahead of the new COVID-19 stimulus package announcement by Putrajaya tomorrow.

The benchmark index had dipped into the red in the morning session, followed by a swift rebound that tapered off at the final minutes of trading, to end the day 3.59 points or 0.27% higher at 1,328.09.

Trading interest persisted among mid- and small-caps, which are the bigger gainers week-to-date.

Across Bursa Malaysia, 3.53 billion shares valued at RM2.27 billion changed hands.  

Among component stocks, gainers were led by Nestle (M) Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd and IHH Healthcare Bhd, while banking stocks pulled back on profit taking.

Elsewhere, gainers included consumer counters Carlsberg Brewery (M) Bhd, Nestle, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Panasonic Manufacturing (M) Bhd and Ajinomoto (M) Bhd.

Decliners were led by blue chips Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, Public Bank Bhd, and Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd which fell on profit taking after earlier gains this week.

Oil and gas stocks continued leading the actives, topped by Bumi Armada Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, and Velesto Energy Bhd as Brent crude oil futures dipped below US$26.50 per barrel in today’s trade.

In other Asian markets, shares ended lower today. Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed down 4.51%, South Korea’s Kospi erased earlier gains to end 1.09% lower, while Hong Kong’ HSI lost 0.74%.

Positive sentiments from the US over its measures against the economic impact of COVID-19 appear to be short-lived, as global COVID-19 infection rates and death tolls escalate.

Spain has overtaken China with a death count of 3,287, trailing behind worst-hit Italy. Global confirmed cases have topped 470,000, with the US trailing behind China and Italy.

Malaysia meanwhile has 23 deaths, with 172 new cases recorded based on latest official data, as total confirmed cases surpassed the 2,000 mark.

At noon tomorrow, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is scheduled to announce an update to the COVID-19 stimulus package to address a wider segment of the economy, the initial version of which was valued at some RM20 billion targeted at worst-hit sectors like tourism.