KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 25): Bursa Malaysia opened marginally higher on Wednesday (Jan 25) after a long weekend, due to the Chinese New Year holidays, trading cautiously, taking its cue from US stocks, which closed little changed on Tuesday.
Investors were still digesting the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond’s weak manufacturing index, and a mixed set of earnings releases for market direction, dealers said.
At 9.05am, the benchmark FBM KLCI had edged up 0.07 of a point to 1,500.40, from 1,500.33 at last Friday’s close.
The market bellwether opened 0.97 of a point better at 1,501.30.
In the broader market, gainers led decliners 205 to 94, while 232 counters were unchanged, 1,665 untraded, and nine others suspended.
Turnover amounted to 110.87 million units worth RM55.52 million.
Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd expected trading activities to be muted amid the holiday-shortened trading week, as most investors could still be enjoying the break.
Nevertheless, it said bouts of upsides are to be expected, with traders taking further positions in riskier assets, following Bank Negara Malaysia’s unexpected move to maintain the overnight policy rate.
Commodities-wise, Brent crude oil slipped to close around US$86 (RM367.65) a barrel, while the crude palm oil (CPO) price was approaching RM3,900 a tonne, it noted.
“For sectors in focus, oil and gas and plantation sectors may garner trading interest, with the CPO price recording three consecutive sessions of recovery, while Brent oil was firmly higher, due to higher demand from the reopening theme.
"Also, construction and building materials-related stocks could turn more positive under improving labour conditions. Meanwhile, with freight rates normalising and a weaker Baltic Dry Index, shipping-related stocks may turn less attractive," it added.
Among the heavyweights, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd added six sen to RM8.56, Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) gained five sen to RM9.50, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd eased four sen to RM5.73, while Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) was unchanged at RM8.80, and Public Bank Bhd was flat at RM4.29.
As for the actives, NationGate Holdings Bhd rose four sen to RM1.22, Cosmos Technology International Bhd improved three sen to 58.5 sen, Industronics Bhd shed one sen to 6.5 sen, while CSH Alliance Bhd was unchanged at seven sen, and Vinvest Capital Holdings Bhd was flat at 20 sen.
On the index board, the FBM Emas Index perked 11.63 points to 10,854.11, the FBMT 100 Index strengthened by seven points to 10,540.78, and the FBM Emas Shariah Index climbed 16.30 points to 11,109.92.
The FBM 70 Index rose 26.84 points to 13,533.49, and the FBM ACE Index advanced 29.86 points to 5,585.94.
Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index slid 0.68 of a point to 16,534.45, the Industrial Products and Services Index inched up 0.70 of a point to 189.06, the Plantation Index improved 0.62 of a point to 6,882.04, and the Energy Index bagged 2.15 points to 847.96.