Bursa extends last week’s gains to open higher

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 30): Bursa Malaysia extended last week’s gains to open higher today, supported by continued buying demand for selected heavyweights, as more investors gained confidence due to easing political tension in the country, dealers said.

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At 9.15am, the benchmark FBM KLCI had risen 10.33 points to 1,600.49 from last Friday’s close at 1,590.16.

The market bellwether opened 3.03 points better at 1,593.19.

Market breadth was positive with gainers leading losers 286 to 200, while 373 counters were unchanged, 1,387 untraded and 50 others suspended.

Turnover stood at 523.04 million units worth RM210.16 million.

Meanwhile, Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd said the positive sentiment was expected to continue to be supported by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s target to achieve a vaccination rate of over 50% of the adult population in six states — Perak, Terengganu, Johor, Kedah, Kelantan and Sabah — by the end of September, while considering moving the Klang Valley into Phase 2 of the National Recovery Plan.

“The KLCI maintained its winning streak throughout the week, spurred by strong buying interest from foreign funds (with a positive inflow streak for five days and cumulative net buying of RM964.3 million) amid easing political risk and reopening of business activities,” it said in a research note today.

Nevertheless, it said trading might slow down ahead of the National Day public holiday.

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“The oil and gas (O&G) sector is under the limelight following increasing crude oil prices. Also, investors may focus on recovery theme play with the smooth vaccination progress.

“Besides, the technology sector may gain traction following overnight gains in the Nasdaq, which closed at a record high following the US Federal Reserve’s (Fed) remarks on its dovish monetary policy,” it added.

Among the market heavyweights, Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) gained six sen to RM8.43, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd (PetChem) and IHH Healthcare Bhd went up 10 sen each to RM8.30 and RM6.45 respectively, Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) improved eight sen to RM10.46 and Public Bank Bhd was flat at RM4.18.

Of the actives, KNM Group Bhd and Green Ocean Corp Bhd earned half a sen each to 26.5 sen and 3.5 sen respectively, while Impiana Hotels Bhd advanced one sen to eight sen, but Orion IXL Bhd slipped one sen to 4.5 sen.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index added 63.80 points to 11,624.33, the FBMT 100 Index was 64.95 points higher at 11,338.33 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index perked 74.66 points to 12,754.02.

The FBM 70 increased 53.81 points to 15,024.15 and the FBM ACE rose 16.77 points to 7,231.64.

Sector-wise, the Plantation Index added 10.34 points to 6,784.02, while the Financial Services Index gained 58.04 points to 15,544.94, and the Industrial Products and Services Index picked up 1.45 points to 198.01.-BERNAMA