KLCI flat, Bursa volume swells as Ekovest tops builders

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 22): The FBM KLCI closed 0.01 point down at 1,622.06 on profit taking while volume across Bursa Malaysia swelled to 4.77 billion shares as construction stocks' and crude oil price gains supported sentiment.

At 5pm, the KLCI closed flat at 1,622.06 on profit taking after rising to its intraday high at 1,630.91. Bursa Malaysia's construction index ended up 16.52 points or 8.15% at 219.2, led by Ekovest Bhd after the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said on Friday the Government decided to reinstate the Bandar Malaysia project, which was abruptly terminated in May 2017, because the project will have a significant impact on Malaysia's economy.

Today, Areca Capital Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Danny Wong told theedgemarkets.com: "With the revision of mega projects last week, it brought more hope for Malaysia to sustain its estimated GDP (gross domestic product) growth. Reviving these projects will also have its spillover effects onto other sectors as well."

Today, Ekovest's share price hit limit up after closing 30 sen or 44.78% higher at 97 sen to become the largest pecentage gainer among the 49 stocks in the construction index. Ekovest, with a volume of some 282 million shares, was also the top-active stock across Bursa Malaysia.

Actively-traded construction and oil and gas-linked shares led to a substantial rise in volume across Bursa Malaysia at 4.77 billion shares valued at RM3.18 billion. On Friday, volume was 2.52 billion shares worth RM1.69 billion.

Today, markets also took cue from crude oil after prices jumped some 3% to more than US$74 a barrel. Reuters reported that oil topped US$74 a barrel on Monday, the highest since November, with the US set to announce a further clampdown on Iranian oil exports, tightening global supplies. It was reported that Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose as much as 3.3 percent to US$74.31 a barrel, the highest since Nov 1.