KUALA LUMPUR, March 18 — Bursa Malaysia opened higher Thursday, with sentiment boosted by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s announcement on the Strategic Programme to Empower the People and the Economy or Pemerkasa and positive Wall Street from a dovish Federal Reserve policy announcement.
At 9.06am, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia (FBM KLCI) inched up 5.83 points to close at 1,630.80 versus Wednesday’s close of 1,624.97.
The index opened 1.21 points higher at 1,626.18.
On the broader market, gainers surpassed losers 355 to 207, while 316 counters were unchanged, 1,369 untraded and 27 others suspended.
Total volume stood at 713.02 million shares worth RM218.72 million.
Malacca Securities believes the RM20 billion economic stimulus package, which includes several programmes such as an increase in micro-credit financing and the extension of wage subsidy, will strengthen the economic recovery and market sentiment moving forward.
The government also intends to implement a more targeted approach in combating the Covid-19 pandemic to replace the Movement Control Order nationwide or in a state.
“We believe the economic stimulus package will shine a light on the recovery-theme sectors, such as tourism, gaming, aviation, banking, and consumer.
“Besides, investors could focus on utilities counters, given the stability of the sector. Meanwhile, traders might want to focus on laggards-theme sectors such as property and construction to look for trading opportunities,” it said in a note.
In addition, the US stock markets rebounded strongly as the Dow (+0.6 per cent) topped the 33,000 psychological level after the US Federal Reserve stood pat on the dovish interest rate stance, at least through 2023.
Of the heavyweights, banks recovered from losses, with Public Bank and CIMB improving five sen to RM4.29 and RM4.56 respectively, while Maybank rosing seven sen to RM8.42.
TM increased 12 sen to RM6.52, Genting added five sen to RM5.35, and PetChem was two sen higher at RM8.19.
Meanwhile, Top Glove lost four sen to RM5.34 and Supermax dropped five sen to RM4.30 after Wednesday’s gains.
Top active counter Pasukhas declined half-a-sen to 3.5 sen, Pegasus and AirAsia X edged up half-a-sen to 3.5 sen and 11 sen, respectively while Scomi was one sen higher at 6.5 sen.
On the index board, the FBM Emas Index expanded 35.16 points to 11,958.80, the FBMT 100 improved 36.53 points to 11,634.94, and the FBM Emas Shariah recovered 11.08 points to 13,257.23.
The FBM 70 was 29.60 points higher at 15,736.30 and the FBM ACE surged 102.93 points to 10,705.12.
Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index jumped 109.16 points to 15,609.12, the Plantation Index inched down 2.59 points to 7,198.00, and the Industrial Products and Services Index inched up 1.0 point to 192.83.