Monday, May 25, 2009

On firmer ground

UALA LUMPUR: Shares on the Bursa Malaysia begun trading for the new week on a fairly positive footing. The headline KL Composite Index opened stronger and stayed in positive territory throughout the trading day, as did market breadth.

Trading volume improved from the previous two preceding market days although it remains well below record levels two weeks back. On Monday, just over two billion shares were transacted on the local bourse. Much of the trading interest was focused on lower liner stocks. Among the most actively traded counters were KNM, Tebrau Teguh, Iris, Mulpha, UEM Land and Scomi.

Among the blue chip stocks, Resorts World and Genting attracted active investor interest. Both stocks were among the top gainers for the day. Shares for Resorts closed 21 sen higher at RM2.79, while Genting gained 35 sen to finish at RM5.55.

Other notable gainers for the day include Hong Leong Industries, Boustead, Nestlé, DiGi, BHIC, Tenaga Nasional and Telekom Malaysia. The benchmark KLCI added nearly eight points to close at 1,053.1 points. At the other end, some of the big losers were PPB, PLUS and KL Kepong. There were roughly ten gaining stocks for every three losing ones at the close.

Most Asian stock markets too closed with a positive bias even though the overall sentiment was one of caution. There was no significant movement, either way, as investors wait for fresh leads.

Investors will be looking to the US for more clues as to the health of the world’s largest economy. In particular, they will be monitoring the consumer confidence index for the month of May, due out Tuesday. Other key reports include sale of existing and new homes last month as well as a government reading on US home prices in 1Q09. Further evidence of stabilisation in the housing sector would support prevailing expectations that the economy has hit bottom and is poised for a recovery later in the year.


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