KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips rebounded in early trade on May 19 in line with regional markets after the overnight gains at Wall Street on Monday, where stocks rallied on renewed optimism on the housing and banking sectors. The major gainers were Axiata, BCHB, Petra Perdana and plantation stocks.
The rally was spurred by the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which jumped 2.9% or 235.44 points to 8,504.08, its biggest point gain since a 246-point jump on April 9 this year. The Standard and Poor's 500 Index rose 3% to 907.71, and the Nasdaq Composite Index was up 3.1% to 1,732.36.
At 10.05am, the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index was up 9.35 points to 1,021.36 at 10.05am. Turnover was 430.71 million shares valued at RM301.31 million. Gainers led losers by 367 to 57, while 108 counters traded unchanged.
Among key Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 jumped 2.84% to 9,292.82, Singapore's Straits Times Index up 2.62% to 2,234.02, Taiwan's TAIEX Index up 2.09% to 6,715.17, South Korea's Kospi Index added 2.08% to 1,415.47 and the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.85% to 2,675.38. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index opened 2.5% higher at 17,454.23.
Wall Street received a boost when America's second-largest home improvement chain, Lowe's Cos., posted earnings that beat Wall Street's forecasts and raised its full-year profit outlook.
Adding to that news was the National Association of Home Builders, which said its housing market index rose for the second month in a row in May, reflecting growing optimism among builders and signs that housing activity might be picking up.
At Bursa Malaysia, among major gainers, BAT and Bursa Malaysia rose 25 sen each to RM42 and RM7.05; BCHB was up 15 sen to RM8.90, Axiata Group rose 14 sen to RM2.35 and Petra Perdana Bhd added 12 sen to RM2.63.
Meanwhile, KL Kepong added 20 sen to RM11.30, Asiatic up 15 sen to RM5.20 and Kulim rose 10 sen to RM6. Buying interest in plantation stocks rose on expectation of higher crude palm oil prices going forward.
The top losers in early trade today were Shell, Petronas Dagangan and Pos which fell 20 sen each to RM10.30, RM7.80 and RM2.30 respectively.