KUALA LUMPUR: Shares on Bursa Malaysia ended firmer today along with the Asian markets on bargain hunting with sentiments largely lifted by better-than-expected manufacturing activity data from China, which averted fears of a hard landing of the world’s second largest economy.
At close, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI rose 10.21 points or 0.69% to 1,482.37. It had touched an intra-morning low of 1,469.66.
Regionally, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei went up 1.22% to 8,733.01 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1.99% to 19,875.53.
South Korea’s Kospi jumped 3.9% to 1776.68 and Singapore’s Straits Times Index advanced 1.21 % to 2765.15.
However, the outlook remained volatile given the persistent worries over a global recession, ongoing euro zone jitters, Hong Leong Investment Bank’s head of research, Low Yee Huap, said today.
There is also loss of confidence in the policymakers in US where fiscal stimulus has been exhausted and monetary policy rates already at zero.
“As such, we expect investors to stay defensive or sidelined,” he said.
Alternatively, he said, risk-takers could adopt a short-term trading oriented approach to buy on sharp falls, and sell into any rebound.
The research house also put the composite index’s immediate resistance at 1,500-1,530.
“Investors remain worried about the outlook, especially with the local bourse going into a short-trading week, next week,” said an analyst.
The stock exchange will be closed for three days next week for the Hari Raya and Merdeka celebrations.
Trading is expected to be half-day on Monday and a full day on Friday.
Most investors were seen shunning away from long-term positions, which also saw them rushing towards safer investments such as gold, he said.
Gold price hit a fresh record of above US$1,900 an ounce.
Bursa Malaysia’s Finance Index jumped 87.52 points to 14,109.98, the Plantation Index rose 127.15 points to 7,289.94 and the Industrial Index improved 17.49 points to 2,751.46.
The FBM Emas Index climbed 64.14 points 10,089.96, the FBM70 Index was up 51.41 points to 11,052.22 and the FBM Ace added 13.7 points to 3,797.74.
Advancers outnumbered decliners by 488 to 274 while 256 counters were unchanged and 465 others untraded.
A total of 875.521 million shares worth RM1.762 billion were traded, up from 853.772 million shares valued at RM1.672 billion traded on Monday.
Sunway Bhd made a dismal performance on its debut, leading the top losers with its price dipping by 31 sen or 11.07% to RM2.49.
Sunway which resulted from a merger between Sunway Holdings Bhd and Sunway City Bhd opened at a 20 sen discount to its reference price of RM2.80.
However, its warrants rose 30.5 sen to 31 sen and listed as top gainer.
Among the active counters, Malayan United Industries edged up one sen to 21 sen, Axiata was flat at RM4.98 and Astral added four sen to 19 sen.
As for heavyweights, Maybank climbed six sen to RM8.70, CIMB perked two sen to RM7.79, Sime Darby slipped one sen to RM8.80 and Tenaga lost six sen to RM5.43.
Volume on the Main Market rose to 705.976 million shares valued at RM1.735 billion from 672.468 million shares valued at RM1.647 billion yesterday.
Turnover on the ACE market jumped to 109.637 million units worth RM18.7573 million from 106.445 million units worth RM16.983 million previously.
Warrants declined to 54.780 million units valued at RM4.44 million from 72.379 million units valued at RM7.216 million yesterday.
Consumer products accounted for 24.599 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products 148.560 million, construction 29.167 million, trade and services 283.204 million, technology 20.723 million, infrastructure 11.776 million, finance 71.476 million, hotels 261,500, properties 73.628 million, plantation 31.95 million, mining 13,500, REITs 9.788 million and closed/fund 56,200.