Friday 21 Jun 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (March 22): Bursa Malaysia extended Thursday's gains to open slightly higher on Friday, supported by bargain-hunting activities and a bullish Wall Street performance overnight.

At 9.15am, the FBM KLCI had edged up 1.01 points to 1,542.42, from Thursday’s close at 1,541.41. The benchmark index opened 0.15 of a point better at 1,541.56.

On the broader market, gainers led decliners 251 to 187, while 328 counters were unchanged, 1,569 untraded, and 18 suspended. 

Turnover amounted to 358.46 million units worth RM155.56 million.

Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd equity research vice-president Thong Pak Leng noted that the KLCI rebounded on Thursday as bargain-hunting activities emerged following an earlier sell-off.

"We believe that buying of local stocks will continue following the US Federal Reserve news (of the interest rate), which strongly lifted investor sentiment. 

"The local bourse follows a triumphant day on Wall Street, where the three major indices hit new closing highs," he told Bernama.

The US central bank reiterated on Thursday its forecast for three rate cuts this year.

Thong said the S&P 500 surged above 5,200 for the first time, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied by 0.68%, settling just below the 40,000 mark.

"As such, we anticipate the benchmark index to trend within the range of 1,540-1,550 today (Friday)," he said. 

Among the heavyweight stocks, Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) gained one sen to RM9.56, while Public Bank Bhd at RM4.22, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd at RM6.55, Tenaga Nasional Bhd at RM11.54 and Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd at RM6.87 were all flat.

As for the actives, ACE Market debutant Alpha IVF Group Bhd slipped half a sen to 31.5 sen, Sarawak Cable Bhd added three sen to 19 sen, and Avaland increased 1.5 sen to 36 sen. Xin Hwa Holdings Bhd at 25.5 sen and Iconic Worldwide Bhd at nine sen had inched up one sen each.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index rose 7.86 points to 11,544.35, and the FBMT 100 Index was 7.71 points firmer at 11,193.61, while the FBM Emas Shariah Index picked up 9.25 points to 11,641.55.

The FBM 70 Index jumped 12.47 points to 15,911.15, and the FBM ACE Index perked up 29.55 points to 4,864.88. 

Sector-wise, the Plantation Index lost 0.23 of a point to 7,352.44, the Industrial Products and Services Index declined 0.16 of a point to 178.86, and the Energy Index shed 2.63 points to 931.98. 

However, the Financial Services Index expanded by 10.25 points to 17,153.93. 

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