Bursa higher in early session

KUALA LUMPUR: Shares on Bursa Malaysia were higher on Tuesday morning, lifted by selected buying in heavyweights, namely the plantation and finance counters.

At 9am, the index rose 7.21 points to 1,635.87 from Monday’s close of 1,628.66.

It opened 5.17 points better at 1,633.83.

On the broader market, gainers outnumbered decliners 169 to 42, while 147 counters remained unchanged, 1,498 untraded and 29 others suspended.

Turnover stood at 94.70 million shares worth RM31.61 million.

A dealer said the local bourse erased its losses yesterday and opened higher across the board, tracking the positive movement regionally.

“The optimism about the US-China trade deal coupled with China’s better-than-expected economic data helped pushed Bursa Malaysia,” the dealer said.

Meanwhile in its note today, MIDF Research said although Malaysia recorded a three-month low purchasing managers’ index (PMI) that indicated a weaker gross domestic product growth for the first quarter, it still maintained the 2019 growth forecast above 4%.

“The continuous fall down in PMI is due to tepid production and orders amid global trade uncertainties. Ongoing trade negotiation between the US and China and political instability in the EU are among the contributing factors to trade uncertainties.

“On a flip side, the latest PMI suggests Malaysia’s manufacturers are optimistic on future outlook and input prices stay at a stable level. Moving forward, we expect a modest economic recovery for the Malaysian economy in 2Q19 underpin by a gradual pick-up in commodity prices, receding trade war effects and solid domestic demand.

“In addition, the Fed’s decision to maintain its rate this year would provide more rooms for emerging markets to expand steadily this year, indirectly supporting global demand,” the research house said.

Of the heavyweights on Bursa, Maybank rose eight sen to RM9.28, Public Bank jumped 14 sen to RM22.62, PetChem added three sen to RM9.15 while Tenaga was four sen better at RM12.66.

Of actives, Talam Transform and Bumi Armada gained one sen each to five sen and 19.5 sen, respectively, Alam Maritim inched up four sen to 15.5 sen but Malayan Flour was flat at 82.5 sen.

The FBM Emas Index increased 40.67 points to 11,521.07, the FBMT 100 Index gained 45.22 points to 11,373.52 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index added 26.12 points to 11,699.06.

The FBM 70 appreciated 36.75 points to 14,251.62 and the FBM Ace Index was 23.17 points better at 4,847.11.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index bagged 106.69 points to 16,844.06, the Industrial Products and Services Index inched up 0.32 of-a-point to 169.07 and the Plantation Index was 38.56 points higher at 7,226.70.