UALA LUMPUR: Shares on the Bursa Malaysia traded broadly higher on Thursday. The KL Composite Index opened on a firmer footing and stayed in positive territory throughout the trading day. Market breadth was also positive for the better part of the day.
Gains by select blue chip stocks including BAT, Tenaga Nasional, Bumiputra-Commerce and Tanjong plc led the KLCI higher. The benchmark index finished the day at 1,064 points for a gain of nearly nine points. At the close, there were roughly five gaining stocks for every three losing ones.
Trading volume was, however, lighter compared to the last few trading days. Just about 1.3 billion shares changed hands on Thursday. Much of the trading activities were focused on lower liner stocks. Among the most heavily traded counters were Compugates, KNM, Mulpha, SAAG and Eden.
Share prices for Measat Global surged before trading was suspended late in the afternoon. The stock gained almost 53% to RM1.85. Trading will resume Friday morning.
Sentiment on the local bourse was stronger than that registered in the rest of the region. Most Asian markets traded lower after Wall Street’s overnight pullback. Investors were slightly disappointed by the weaker than expected data on the US services sector and factory orders.
Crude oil prices also gave back some gains after the US showed an unexpected rise in stockpiles. Crude oil futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange are now hovering around US$66 (RM229.68) per barrel.
Now that the worst of the recession is behind us, investors are angling for data that will show a recovery. In short, expectations are now much higher — and there will be more room for shortfalls. Still, the emergence of bargain hunting on every sign of a correction, so far, underscores the strong investor appetite for equities. This does suggest that the rally may still have legs.