Bursa Malaysia extended earlier gains to close broadly higher today, lifted by buying interest in bluechips and key
heavyweights, dealers said.
The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) ended at 1,775.92, up 6.8 points from Wednesday's close, after fluctuating between 1,775.04 and 1,769.12 throughout the day.
Hong Leong Bank, the largest contributor to the rise with 1.559 points, saw its shares rise 3.32 per cent or 46 sen to RM14.28, with 844,200 shares changing hands.
Etiqa Insurance & Takaful Bhd's head of research Chris Eng said market sentiment improved amid signs that US lawmakers could raise the debt ceiling and on optimism Janet Yellen would not rush to withdraw the stimulus package if she becomes the Federal Reserve chairman.
Yesterday, President Barack Obama nominated Yellen, the current Federal Reserve Vice-Chairman and an architect of its stimulus programme, to succeed Ben Bernanke as the next chief.
Eng noted the release of two sets of statistics -- the index of industrial production for August and Malaysian Palm Oil Board's monthly plantation statistics for September -- also lent support to the market.
"The figures were within expectation. This reaffirms the view of second-half period peformance being stronger than the first-half.
"It also reflects the positive outlook on Malaysia's economy," he told Bernama.
On the scoreboard, the Finance Index surged 115.26 points to 16,590.1, the Industrial Index increased 16.2 points to 3,047.47, but the Plantation Index eased 9.64 points to 8,337.57.
The FBM Emas Index rose 53.61 points to 12,370.67, the FBMT100 went up 50.52 points to 12,105.25, the FBM 70 Index soared 76.31 points to 14,171.28 and the FBM ACE Index chalked up 67.6 points to 5,457.8.
Market breadth was positive with gainers thumping losers by 501 to 264, with 282 counters unchanged, 564 untraded and 16 others suspended.
Turnover expanded to 1.86 billion shares worth RM1.566 billion from 1.516 billion shares worth RM1.351 billion on Wednesday.
Among actives, both MAS and Hubline inched up half-a-sen each to 34 sen and 5.5 sen respectively, while The Media Shoppe shed half-a-sen to 9.5 sen.
Of the heavyweights, Maybank rose five sen to RM9.90, Petronas Chemicals gained seven sen to RM6.96, while both Axiata Group and CIMB added two sen each to RM6.92 and RM7.42 respectively.
Sime Darby, however, was flat at RM9.44.
Volume on the Main Market improved to 1.265 billion shares worth RM1.45 billion from 1.07 billion shares worth RM1.243 billion on Wednesday.
Turnover on the ACE market rose to 562.792 million units valued at RM112.355 million from yesterday's 420.929 million units valued at RM105.132 million.
Total warrants narrowed to 28.656 million shares worth RM2.654 million from 19.68 million shares worth RM1.915 million previously.
Consumer products accounted for 91.01 million shares on the Main Market, industrial products 208.926 million, construction 50.451 million, trade and services 384.882 million, technology 198.214 million, infrastructure 36.423 million, SPAC 75.789 million, finance 60.289 million, hotels 3.996 million, properties 139.346 million, plantations 7.514 million, mining 11,000, REITs
8.593 million and closed/fund 69,100.-- Bernama