Bursa opens higher, tracking optimism on Wall Street

KUALA LUMPUR (April 6): Bursa Malaysia opened higher today, tracking the better overnight performance on Wall Street, as investor sentiment was buoyed by positive US economic data.

A survey by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) yesterday showed activity in the US services industry reaching its highest level on record in March following the country’s positive jobs report last Friday, which beat the forecast with 916,000 jobs added last month.

At 9.09am, the benchmark FBM KLCI had gained 1.65 points to 1,585.89 from yesterday’s close at 1,584.24.

The index opened 4.03 points higher at 1,588.27.

On the broader market, gainers led losers 290 to 174, while 358 counters were unchanged, 1,309 untraded and nine others suspended.

Total volume stood at 538.44 million shares worth RM198.43 million.

Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd said the announcement of the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (KVMRT) Line 3 project, coupled with news of the reversion of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project to the original alignment, may continue to serve as an upside catalyst for the construction sector.

Meanwhile, the Covid-19 vaccination Phase 2 programme, which is set to begin on April 19 in eight states, may continue to bring positive sentiment into the market.

For sectors in focus, the research house said the construction and property sectors are expected to be under the limelight in the near term, not forgetting the proxy segments, such as the cement and steel industries, given the news of the MRT 3 and ECRL projects.

“Buying interest may also persist within the recovery-themed sectors, such as consumer, amid lower Covid-19 cases and the ongoing vaccination programme.

“We reckon the key index may continue to trade sideways, with resistance pegged around 1,600 to 1,625, while support is located along 1,550 to 1,560,” it added.

Of the heavyweights, Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) had shed two sen to RM8.32, Public Bank Bhd added one sen to RM4.23 and Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) gained two sen to RM10.24.

Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd (PetChem) and IHH Healthcare Bhd were flat at RM7.99 and RM5.33 respectively.

Among the active counters, Vortex Consolidated Bhd edged up half a sen to one sen, Volcano Bhd rose 19 sen to 54 sen and Sealink International Bhd improved two sen to 32 sen.

Sapura Energy Bhd and AT Systematization Bhd were flat at 14.5 sen and nine sen respectively.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index was up 22.02 points at 11,777.47, the FBM 70 rose 54.90 points to 15,873.17, the FBMT 100 increased 19.20 points to 11,423.77, the FBM Emas Shariah advanced 34.38 points to 13,053.68 and the FBM ACE expanded 42.52 points to 9,750.86.

Sector-wise, the Plantation Index went up 5.56 points to 7,036.88, and the Industrial Products and Services Index edged up 0.61 of a point to 194.56, while the Financial Services Index gained 4.14 points to 15,304.37.

Source: TheEdgeMarkets