KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia extended its winning streak for the fifth consecutive day, with the key index rallying to its three-month high today, thanks to the strong buying momentum in banking-related stocks amid positive sentiment over Covid-19 vaccine, dealers said.
At the close, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) rose 50.75 points or 3.33 per cent to end at its intra-day high of 1,575.07 compared with yesterday’s close of 1,524.32.
The barometer index started the day in negative territory but recovered after five minutes of trading. It moved to as low as 1,516.54 at one time.
The overall market breadth was positive with gainers outpacing losers 747 to 609, while 444 counters were unchanged, 348 untraded and 33 others suspended.
Total volume increased to 12.33 billion units worth RM8.45 billion from 11.71 billion units worth RM4.62 billion yesterday.
Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd economist Adam Mohamed Rahim said banking counters rose as the blanket moratorium was not extended under Budget 2021, which bodes well for banks’ earnings.
“With hopes of the vaccine (for COVID-19) remaining high, economic recovery will lead to less non-performing loans and impairments for banks,” he told Bernama.
Among banking heavyweights, Public Bank put on RM1.90 to RM17.20, Maybank surged 54 sen to RM7.66, Hong Leong Bank increased RM1.48 to RM16.18, CIMB advanced 32 sen to RM3.38, and RHB Bank bagged 47 sen to RM4.85.
Gains in these stocks contributed a substantial 44.44 points to the rise in the composite index.
In line with the buying spree in the sector, the Financial Services Index swelled 1,020.23 points to end the day at 13,287.5.
The uptrend on Bursa was also in line with regional peers’ performance, buoyed by the bullish sentiment stemming from positive data from a large-scale COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial, with a rate of 90 per cent effectiveness, developed by American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc and its partner, BioNTech SE.
On this positive development, Adam said counters related to tourism such as Malaysia Airports, AirAsia Group and AirAsia X were all up by at least 20.0 per cent as the news of the vaccine gave hope of a revival of the tourism sector.
Sector-wise, he said Bursa Malaysia Energy index jumped by 8.0 per cent for the day, making it the biggest winner as a successful development of a vaccine could mean that demand for crude oil could increase on the back of more industrial activities.
On the other hand, glove counters took a beating with Top Glove losing 8.0 per cent to RM7.80 and Hartalega fell 13.8 per cent to RM15.70.
Other heavyweights, Tenaga rose 94 sen to RM11.20 and Petronas Chemicals climbed 38 sen to RM6.75.
Of the actives, AT Systematization shed 2.5 sen to 19 sen, AirAsia X earned 2.5 sen to 6.5 sen, Kanger inched down half-a-sen to 18.5 sen, while Sapura Energy added half-a-sen to 11 sen.
On the index board, the FBM Emas Index was 270.84 points firmer at 11,311.03, the FBMT 100 Index advanced 279.85 points to 11,112.59, and the FBM 70 increased 60.05 points to 14,549.09.
However, the FBM Emas Shariah Index decreased 40.15 points to 13,292.76 and the FBM ACE dropped 328.81 points to 11,046.36.
The Industrial Products and Services Index added 3.06 points to 154.31 and the Plantation Index improved 58.86 points to 7,207.59. –Bernama
More to come