Bursa Malaysia ends morning session higher

BURSA Malaysia ended the morning trading session on a positive note, driven by buying interest in selected heavyweights, ahead of Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) and the European Central Bank’s interest rate decisions today, a dealer said.

At 12.30pm, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) gained 2.32 points to 1,493.67 from Wednesday’s close of 1,491.35.

The benchmark index opened 0.48 of a point lower at 1,490.87 and moved between 1,486.98 and 1,497.66 during the session.

On the broader market, gainers surpassed losers 372 to 317, while 397 counters were unchanged, 1,204 untraded and nine others suspended.

Turnover stood at 1.3 billion units worth RM845.26 million.

In a note, Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd said it expected overall sentiment to turn positive with the rebound on Wall Street overnight.

The brokerage believed the market is pricing in a 25-basis-point Overnight Policy Rate hike by BNM at this juncture.

“Nevertheless, the technology sector may see further bargain hunting activities, while the banking sector could benefit from the interest rate hike environment,” it said in a note today.

On the contrary, it said the falling crude oil price following downbeat Chinese trade data may drag the energy counters at least for the near term.

At lunch break, Bursa heavyweights Malayan Banking Bhd gained one sen to RM8.94, IHH Healthcare Bhd rose three sen to RM6.23, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd was two sen weaker at RM8.98, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd dropped one sen to RM5.39, while Public Bank Bhd was unchanged at RM4.64.

Of the actives, Metronic Global Bhd shed half sen to 5.5 sen, SNS Network Technology Bhd increased half sen to 26.5 sen, Agmo Holdings Bhd climbed 6.5 sen to 98.5 sen, Cnergenz Bhd stronger 5.5 sen to 94 sen, while Sanichi Technology Bhd was flat at 2.5 sen.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index improved by 21.38 points to 10,606.75, the FBM Emas Shariah Index inched up 31.5 points to 10,696.08, the FBM T100 Index ticked up 22.11 points to 10,355.41, the FBM 70 was 51.54 points firmer at 12,731.51 and the FBM ACE improved 27.45 points to 4,801.07.

Sector-wise, the Energy Index was up by 1.36 points to 710.55, the Financial Services Index inched up 15.17 points to 16,728.2, the Industrial Products and Services Index was 0.52 of-a-point better at 185.57, while the Plantation Index shed 2.62 points to 7,026.21. — Bernama / pic by Muhd Amin Naharul