Bursa Malaysia ended the morning session on a strong note, with the main index rising 2.01 percent following continued buying momentum in an environment of improved market sentiment both locally and externally.
At the midday break, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) rose 28.94 points to 1,471.44 from 1,443.5 on Wednesday.
Market-leading shares opened higher by 7.18 points to 1,450.68.
Market sentiment was positive with gainers outnumbering losers by 699 to 201 while 312 counters were unchanged, 1,121 were untraded and 84 others were suspended.
The total trading volume of 3.18 billion units is worth RM1.51 billion.
In a preliminary research note, Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd said the optimism surrounding the United States Federal Reserve (Fed) meeting in November — that the central bank will take a less aggressive step with rate hikes may be spreading across regional markets.
Confident to buy banking stocks
Confidence has led to buying in several banking stocks — Public Bank rose 14 sen to RM4.42, CIMB rose 19 sen to RM5.70, Maybank added 11 sen to RM8.66, RHB Bank gained 12 sen to RM5.59 and Hong Leong Bank rose 20 sen to RM20.68.
The brokerage firm also believes that the market may turn more positive after the UMNO Supreme Working Council announced its support for the unity government, ensuring the country’s stability.
Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd Equity Research Vice President Thong Pak Leng said buying support is likely from local institutions, which could cause the index to end the day above the 1,440 level.
“Therefore, we expect the index to trade in the range of 1,440-1,460 today,” he said.
Of the heavyweights, Petronas Chemicals rose 18 sen to RM8.96, IHH Healthcare added one sen to RM6.00 and Tenaga rose 14 sen to RM8.56. However, Press Metal declined four sen to RM4.79.
Among the active stocks, Advance Synergy rose eight sen to 25.5 sen, Malayan United rose two sen to 12 sen, Eden decreased four sen to 15 sen, Compugates added half a sen to 1.5 sen, and MMAG and Dagang NeXchange, each rose one sen. to three sen and 61.5 sen.
On the index board, FBM Emas Index rose 205.35 points to 10,471.57, FBM Emas Shariah Index increased 184.14 points to 10,600.83. Besides, FBMT 100 Index added 200.51 points to 10,197.94, FBM ACE increased 117.5 points to 5,091.23 and FBM 70 jumped 246.1 points to 10,97.34.
By sector, the Financial Services Index rose 319.5 points to 16,487.71, the Energy Index increased 10.13 points to 753.99. Also, the Industrial Products and Services Index added 2.37 points to 182.23. However, the Plantation Index declined 40.32 points to 6,827.37.