KUALA LUMPUR, Bursa Malaysia ended the day higher on continued buying interest in selected financial services heavyweights led by Public Bank Bhd, amid the mostly upbeat regional market performance.

At 5 pm, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) rose 3.40 points to 1,614.42 from Friday’s close of 1,611.02.

The market was closed yesterday in conjunction with the Awal Muharram replacement holiday.

The key index, which opened 6.12 points firmer at 1,617.14, moved between 1,613.15 and 1,618.02 throughout the day.

However, on the broader market, decliners led gainers 666 to 529, with 480 counters unchanged, 729 untraded and 13 suspended.

Turnover increased to 4.65 billion units worth RM3.84 billion from 4.34 billion units worth RM2.95 billion last Friday.

Apex Securities Bhd head of research Kenneth Leong told Bernama that the FBM KLCI made modest gains largely driven by selected banking heavyweights amid the improved prospects of US interest rate cuts following the weaker-than-expected jobs data last Fri

The gains were also in line with the mostly positive performance by regional peers, he added.

UOB Kay Hian Wealth Advisors head of investment research Mohd Sedek Jantan said the barometer index ended higher today, mirroring the robust performance of regional markets and Wall Street.

‘Sentiment on Bursa Malaysia has been notably bullish, bolstered by the Japan Nikkei 225 index which hit another record high,’ he told Bernama.

Regionally, Japan’s Nikkei 225 jumped 1.96 per cent to 41,580.17, Singapore’s Straits Times Index rose 0.64 per cent to 3,426.09, South Korea’s Kospi increased 0.34 per cent to 2,867.38, and Shanghai SSE Composite Index gained 1.26 per cent to 2,959.37.

Leong said going forward, Apex Securities expects the key index to tread cautiously as investors monitor the US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s congressional testimony which markets are anticipating that he will remain supportive over the prospects of interest rate cut amid the recent cooling labour market.

‘Also, as we mar
ch into the middle of the month, investors will be keeping an eye on the slew of corporate earnings releases on Wall Street.

‘Back home, Malaysia’s unemployment data will be in focus tomorrow,’ he said.

Among the Bursa Malaysia heavyweights, Maybank and CIMB bagged two sen each to RM10.06 and RM6.97 respectively, Public Bank improved seven sen to RM4.11, Tenaga Nasional rose 20 sen to RM14.42, while IHH Healthcare eased two sen to RM6.30.

As for the most active counters, newly-listed Johor Plantations Group Bhd perked up six sen to 90 sen, Hubline was one sen higher at eight sen, Bumi Armada added two sen to 60 sen, ATA IMS gained 5.5 sen to 55.5 sen, and K-One technology climbed three sen to 32.5 sen.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index advanced 27.89 points to 12,472.88, the FBMT 100 Index firmed 33.05 points to 12,045.93, the FBM Emas Shariah Index put on 21.24 points to 12,828.12, the FBM 70 Index jumped 78.60 points to 18,464.10, and the FBM ACE Index dipped 16.05 points to 5,950.26.

the Financial Services Index surged 106.33 points to 17,709.77, the Industrial Products and Services Index notched up 0.17 of-a-point to 200.09 but the Energy Index fell 2.18 points to 984.57 and the Plantation Index dropped 73.52 points to 6,932.12.

The Main Market volume swelled to 2.74 billion units valued at RM3.40 billion from 2.24 billion units valued at RM2.42 billion last Friday.

Warrants turnover edged up to 987.46 million units worth RM116.99 million compared with 987.05 million units worth RM141.13 million previously.

The ACE Market volume dwindled to 920.83 million shares valued at RM322.83 million against 1.10 billion shares valued at RM389.59 million on Friday.

Consumer products and services counters accounted for 382.59 million shares traded on the Main Market; industrial products and services (629.30 million); construction (188.27 million); technology (299.20 million); SPAC (nil); financial services (144.07 million); property (216.33 million); plantation (211.80 million); REITs (8.77 milli
on); closed/fund (6,000); energy (272.42 million); healthcare (84.22 million); telecommunications and media (58.01 million); transportation and logistics (187.50 million); utilities (62.46 million); and business trusts (970,400).

Source: BERNAMA News Agency