Public Bank leads charge among KLCI counters

Public Bank leads charge among KLCI counters
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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 9): Public Bank Bhd lead the charge among counters on the FBM KLCI, which finished 0.91% or 14.83 points higher at 1,646.53 today, its highest in 18 months.

At market close today, Public Bank was the top gainer on the local bourse as well as the benchmark index after it announced its bonus share issue yesterday.

Shares in the bank had finished RM7.58 or RM1.40 higher at RM19.86, valuing it at RM77.10 billion. It saw a trading volume of 19.83 million shares.

Two other banks dominated the top gainers list on the FBM KLCI, namely Hong Leong Bank and RHB Bank Bhd.

Hong Leong Bank was the second top value gainer on the local bourse. Its share price rose 3.62% or 66 sen to RM18.88, yielding a market value of RM40.93 billion.

As for RHB, it gained 3.57% or 20 sen to RM5.80, yielding a market capitalisation of RM23.26 billion.

Conversely, the top laggards on the index are Top Glove Corp Bhd, Telekom Malaysia Bhd and Axiata Group Bhd.

In a note, TA Securities Research said economic recovery plays may pause for a breather given concerns over surging virus cases during wintertime in the US and Europe, as well as profit-taking persisting among the recent strong gains seen.

“Next immediate index resistance remains 1,650 and 1,680, with following upside hurdle seen from the July 2019 peak of 1,694. Immediate uptrend supports are from the rising 10-day, recent lows, 100-day and 50-day moving averages at 1,608, 1,580, 1,562, 1,547 and 1,542, respectively,” the research house said.

However, market breadth was broadly negative, with some 641 counters posting declines against 500 counters posting gains and 549 counters unchanged.

Top actives today included AirAsia X Bhd, XOX Bhd and Sino Hua-An International Bhd. Top gainers included Public Bank, Hong Leong Bank and Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd. Top losers, on the other hand, included BLD Plantation Bhd, Supermax Corp Bhd and G Capital Bhd.

A total of 11.88 billion shares worth RM6.68 billion were traded on the local bourse today.

The gain seen on the FBM KLCI was not limited to Malaysian shores, as other key regional indices also posted upward movements as well.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was up by 0.75% or 198.28 points at 26,502.84. The Nikkei 225 in Japan had also advanced by 1.33% or 350.86 points at 26,817.94. The Kospi in Seoul gained 2.02% or 54.54 points to 2,755.47. Across the causeway, the Straits Times Index was 0.75% or 21.31 points higher at 2,846.94.

Meanwhile, the Shanghai Composite Index was down by 1.12% or 38.21 points at 3,371.96.

Reuters reported that a strong overnight finish at Wall Street on progress in Covid-19 vaccines had spillover effects.

“Positive sentiment from a strong finish at Wall Street on progress in coronavirus vaccines spilled over to Asia as most stock markets made big gains,” it noted.

Lam Jian Wyn