Global market remains bullish on 2023 budget hopes and improving global sentiment

KUALA LUMPUR: Positive sentiment on Bursa Malaysia continued during the morning session as FBM index heavyweights KLCI gained momentum ahead of the 2023 budget.

As of 12:30 p.m., the benchmark was up 14.65 points at 1,424.01 as renewed global buying interest also helped support share prices.

The overall market was positive with 487 winners versus 265 decliners. The trading volume was 2.12 billion shares valued at RM819.1 million.

Recent economic data, including a weaker US jobs report, suggests that the tightening measures are having an effect in moderating inflation levels, raising hopes that future interest rate hikes will not be as aggressive than feared.

On the Malaysian Blue Chip Index, Press Metal climbed 29 sen to RM4.29 as the London Metal Exchange considers banning the import of Russian metals, triggering a spike in aluminum prices.

A jump in Brent prices above the $90 a barrel level also boosted oil and gas stocks, including PETRONAS Chemicals, which rose 21 sen to RM8.60 and PETRONAS Gas, which surged from eight sne at RM16.64.

Meanwhile, bank stocks remained bullish with Maybank adding three sen to R8.71, Public Bank rising two sen to RM4.29, CIMB gaining six sen to RM5.29 and Hong Leong Bank climbing 12 sen to RM20. 74.

Widely seen as a proxy for oil prices, Hibiscus Petroleum was up 9.5 sen at 96.5 sen with 42.52 million shares traded, the second most active in the morning session.

MAG led the trading volume with an increase of 0.5 sen to four sen with a whopping 792.32 million shares traded.

Top Glove completed the three most active stocks, adding one sen to 63 sen with 39.62 million units crossing their hands.

Meanwhile, Asian markets maintained their bullish mood although buying slowed from the previous session.

Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.45% to 27,109 while South Korea’s Kospi shed earlier gains to slip 0.1% into the red at 2,207.

Chinese markets remained closed as Hong Kong’s Hang Seng reopened to climb 5.5% to 18,013 as it caught up with the recent global rally.

Australia’s ASX200 meanwhile remained supported by its central bank’s weaker-than-expected interest rate hike, rising 1.65% to 6,809.

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