Bursa Malaysia opened easier but turned positive soon after to extend yesterday’s gains.

BURSA Malaysia opened easier but turned positive soon after to extend yesterday’s gains.

The local bourse bucked the regional trend, which got off to a stumbling start with Wall Street being closed for a holiday on Monday and investors weighing the move by China’s central bank to skip on rate cuts yesterday, a dealer said.

At 9.20 am, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) was 1.34 points better at 1,502.45 compared with Monday’s close of 1,501.11.

The FBM KLCI opened 0.81 of-a-point easier at 1,500.82.

On the broader market, gainers led losers 248 to 232, while 363 counters were unchanged, 1,374 untraded and 19 suspended.

Turnover amounted to 550.29 million units worth RM288.48 million.

Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd said Wall Street was closed for Martin Luther King Jr Day yesterday but many are expecting the market to remain lacklustre following a mixed bag of earnings from the banks entering into the 2023 fourth-quarter earnings season.

Over in Hong Kong, it noted, the Hang Seng Index ended marginally lower as traders were disappointed that the People’s Bank of China maintained interest rates after major Chinese commercial banks lowered their deposit rates following recent disappointing economic data, stoking the view that more stimulus was warranted.

“Back home, the FBM KLCI closed above the 1,500 level yesterday as buying on heavyweights continued.

“However, it is crucial that the buying persists and keeps the index above the 1,500 threshold to maintain the healthy trajectory of the local bourse; thus we expect the index to hover within the 1,500 to 1,510 range today,” it added.

Among the heavyweights, Maybank shed one sen to RM9.07, Public Bank and Tenaga Nasional eased two sen each to RM4.34 and RM10.48 respectively, CIMB added two sen to RM6.02, and Petronas Chemicals edged up one sen to RM6.96.

Of the actives, Tanco rose three sen to 65.5 sen, Insas warrant and Eastern and Oriental bagged two sen each to 41.5 sen and 95 sen, respectively, and Sealink International gained 1.5 sen to 23 sen, while Hong Seng Consolidated was flat at 53.5 sen.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index increased 12.08 points to 11,212.79, the FBM 70 Index advanced 33.95 points to 15,216.61, the FBMT 100 Index expanded 13.39 points to 10,852.71, the FBM Emas Shariah Index rose 26.63 points to 11,340.36, and the FBM ACE Index slipped 22.89 points to 5,358.07.

Sector-wise, the Industrial Products and Services Index was 0.38 of-a-point firmer at 178.05, the Energy Index improved 2.72 points to 869.37, the Plantation Index climbed 3.8 points to 7,192.76, and the Property Index notched up 3.64 points to 919.58.

However, the Financial Services Index declined 26.59 points to 16,666.83. — BERNAMA