KL shares end higher amid cautious regional sentiment

SHARES on Bursa Malaysia finished the first trading day of February in positive territory as bargain hunting emerged following the sell-down on Tuesday despite a cautious market undertone in the region, a dealer said.

At 5pm, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) rose 4.3 points to 1,489.80 from Tuesday’s close of 1,485.50.

The key index opened 3.32 points stronger at 1,488.82 and moved between 1,485.90 and 1,493.21 throughout the session.

Market breadth was positive with gainers outpacing losers 681 to 341, while 371 counters were unchanged, 780 untraded and 11 others suspended.

Turnover expanded to 5.14 billion units worth RM2.95 billion against Tuesday’s 4.03 billion units worth RM2.78 billion.

Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd equity research VP Thong Pak Leng said, despite the cautious market undertone in the region, buying in the local market is expected to continue given the cheap valuations of local stocks and persistent support from local institutions.

“At present, the benchmark index is trading at around 13 times the price-earnings ratio as compared with its five-year average of around 18 times, hence the market still offers potential upsides.

“As such, we expect the FBM KLCI to trend within the 1,490 to 1,500 level towards the weekend,” he told Bernama.

Globally, the key regional indices ended mixed as the US economic data gave a mixed picture of the nation’s job market, a factor in inflation expectations, while the US manufacturing sector contracted for the third consecutive month in January.

“Moreover, investors are expecting a hawkish stance on policy rates by the European Central Bank as the inflation rate in Europe is still roaring higher,” Thong added.

The key regional indices were mixed, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 adding 0.20% to 27,402.05, South Korea’s Kospi ticked up 0.78% to 2,468.88, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.52% to 21,958.36, and Singapore’s Strait Times Index slid 0.41% to 3,363.68.

Back home, gainers among heavyweights were led by Digi.Com Bhd, which rose nine sen to RM4.30, Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Bhd and Sime Darby Plantation Bhd garnered 12 sen each to RM5.30 and RM4.45 respectively, while Malayan Banking Bhd lost two sen to RM8.72 and Public Bank Bhd shed three sen to RM4.10.

As for the actives, Hong Seng added 1.5 sen to 21.5 sen and its warrants were unchanged at two sen, Velesto Energy Bhd perked up 2.5 sen to 25.5 sen, Dagang NeXchange Bhd climbed three sen to 68.5 sen, while Borneo Oil Bhd and Sapura Energy Bhd were flat at two sen and five sen respectively.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index advanced 61.73 points to 10,878, the FBM T100 Index rose 53.63 points to 10,539.09 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index jumped 108.81 points to 11,185.02.

The FBM 70 Index soared 170.04 points to 13,856.04 and the FBM ACE Index shot up 99.86 points to 5,811.32.

Sector-wise, the Industrial Products and Services Index was up 0.34 of-a-point to 190.27, the Energy Index climbed 20.32 points to 907.57, the Plantation Index was 74.29 points stronger at 6,903.67, and the Financial Services Index dipped 71.79 points to 16,341.64.

The Main Market volume swelled to 3.93 billion shares worth RM2.54 billion compared to Tuesday’s 2.5 billion shares worth RM2.31 billion.

Warrants turnover increased to 324.53 million units worth RM54.48 million from 299.42 million units worth RM50.9 million previously.

The ACE Market volume dwindled to 887.88 million shares worth RM349.22 million from 1.24 billion shares worth RM418.5 million on Tuesday.

Consumer products and services counters accounted for 389.61 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (854.54 million); construction (128.79 million); technology (759.26 million); SPAC (nil), financial services (94.52 million); property (401.21 million); plantation (39.59 million); REITs (17.48 million), closed/fund (27,000); energy (973.82 million); healthcare (74.16 million); telecommunications and media (42.28 million); transportation and logistics (126.99 million) and utilities (28.83 million). — Bernama