Bursa Malaysia opens higher with more room for upside

KUALA LUMPUR — Bursa Malaysia opened higher on Friday on continuous support amid improved investor appetite ahead of the release of Malaysia’s first quarter (1Q) gross domestic product (GDP) data, which is expected to be higher than estimated.

At 9.05am, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) rose 2.38 points to 1,613.49 compared to yesterday’s close of 1,611.11.

The barometer index opened 1.31 points better at 1,612.42.

Gainers outnumbered losers 217 to 172, with 333 counters unchanged, 1,647 untraded and 10 others suspended.

Turnover was 390.30 million units worth RM111.66 million.

Bank Negara Malaysia and the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM) will jointly announce the 1Q numbers at noon.

DoSM recently forecast a growth of 3.9 per cent based on advance estimates.

On the equities market, Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd equity research vice-president Thong Pak Leng said the FBM KLCI closed at a year-to-date high yesterday, thus believing there is still room for upside.

“We also noticed that daily volume has been improving and this is a positive sign for the smaller caps, which have yet to excel in a broader sense.

“For today, we expect the index to hover at the 1,605-1,620 range underpinned by higher liquidity,” he said.

In the overseas market, Wall Street ended lower despite Dow Jones briefly touching the magical 40,000 mark as profit-taking activities emerged following the recent uptrend.

The Dow Jones lost 39 points while the Nasdaq declined by 44 points as the US 10-year yield edged marginally higher at 4.377 per cent.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index jumped more than 300 points edging closer to the 20,000 level on optimism over the recent easing policy on China’s property sector coupled with bets that the Federal Reserve will cut rates this year.

“Sentiment was further buoyed by speculation the dividend tax may be abolished for Hong Kong stocks,” he said, adding that this may be positive for the local market as well.

Among the heavyweights, IHH put on five sen to RM6.26, MISC advanced six sen to RM8.30, while CelcomDigi, YTL and CIMB were two sen higher at RM4.06, RM3.67 and RM6.81 respectively.

As for the actives, SNS Network gained half-a-sen to 51 sen, Sin-Kung Logistics ticked up one sen to 15.5 sen, while Minetech and MMG were flat at 13.5 sen 30.5 sen respectively and SP Setia climbed 10 sen to RM1.63.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index advanced 21.47 points to 12,257.21, the FBMT 100 Index rose 20.88 points to 11,862.49 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index gained 22.88 points to 11,862.49.

The FBM ACE Index went up 9.99 points to 5,306.77 and the FBM 70 Index increased 44.41 points to 17,493.32.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index edged up 24.43 points to 17,618.07, the Industrial Products and Services Index went down 0.07 of-a-point to 193.40, the Plantation Index decreased by 2.18 points to 7,406.76, and the Energy Index lost 1.11 points to 985.73. — BERNAMA