KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 10): Bursa Malaysia continued earlier uptrend at mid-afternoon, with key index soaring 2.213%, thanks to strong buying support in the index-linked counters, especially the banking-related stocks.
This was also in line with regional peer performances, buoyed by the bullish sentiment stemming from positive data from a large-scale Covid-19 vaccine clinical trial, with a rate of 90% effectiveness, developed by American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc and its partner, BioNTech SE.
At 3.03pm, the benchmark FBM KLCI surged 33.74 points to 1,558.06 after fluctuating between 1,516.54 and 1,560.44 throughout the session.
Gainers and losers were almost equal at 655 to 620, while 484 counters were unchanged, 389 untraded, and 33 others suspended.
Total volume stood at 9.32 billion worth RM5.81 billion.
A dealer said banking counters were on the rise as the blanket moratorium was not extended under Budget 2021, which bodes well for banks' earnings.
Among heavyweight banks, Public Bank Bhd soared RM1.76 to RM17.06, Malayan Banking Bhd rose 50 sen to RM7.62, Hong Leong Bank Bhd increased RM1.32 to RM16.02, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd advanced 29 sen to RM3.35, and RHB Bank Bhd bagged 40 sen to RM4.78.
In line with a buying spree in the sector, the Financial Services index climbed 941.02 points to 13,208.29.
Among other heavyweights, Tenaga Nasional Bhd bagged 64 sen to RM10.90 and Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd gained 19 sen to RM6.56.
Meanwhile, Hartalega Holdings Bhd led the losers list among the 30 FBM KLCI index constituents after it dropped by 13.28% or RM2.42 to RM15.80; followed by Top Glove Corp Bhd which shed 82 sen to RM7.55, as the positive progress of vaccine development curbed risk appetite for rubber glove counters.
Of the actives, AT Systematization Bhd slid 2.5 sen to 19 sen, AirAsia X Bhd and NetX Holdings Bhd gained 2.5 sen each to 6.5 sen and 16.5 sen, respectively, Kanger International Bhd was flat at 19 sen, while Pegasus Heights Bhd inched up half a sen to three sen.
On the index board, the FBM Emas index was 175.89 points firmer at 11,219.09, the FBMT 100 index increased 183.81 points to 11,016.54, and the FBM 70 improved 28.31 points to 14,517.35.
However, the FBM Emas Shariah index contracted 151.86 points to 13,181.05 and the FBM ACE dropped 337.08 points to 11,038.1.
Sector-wise, the Industrial Products and Services index edged up 1.12 points to 152.37 and the Plantation index perked 26.43 points to 7,175.16.