KUALA LUMPUR: Foreign fund buying continued into the fourth day of the week as the FBM KLCI gained nearly 12 points underpinned by a firmer ringgit versus the US dollar and the advance in crude oil prices.
At 9.26am, the KLCI was up 11.62 points or 0.64% to 1,815.07. Turnover was 780.28 million shares valued at RM344.21mil. There were 451 gainers, 143 losers and 277 counters unchanged.
The ringgit strengthened to its highest level against the US dollar since August 2016 early Friday, boosted by higher oil prices. It rose 0.2% to 3.998 to the dollar, breaking the psychologically significant 4 level.
Hong Leong Investment Bank (HLIB) Research said sentiments on the local bourse could stay positive, tracking the bullish performance on the regional and US markets.
It noted that although selected government-linked companies retraced mildly on the back of profit taking activities in the last two days, “we think rotational trading interests across the board will remain buoyant driven by the short window of accumulation ahead of the anticipated 14th General Election”.
Asian shares inched closer to their record 2007 peak on Friday as US jobs data pointed to firm economic growth although the greenback was soft as the spectre of benign inflation capped domestic bond yields, Reuters reported.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.2% in early trade, with the benchmark index in Australia and South Korea both up about 0.5%. Japan’s Nikkei also gained 0.5% to a 26-year high.
Top Glove hit fresh record highs ahead of the release of its results next week, climbing 29 sen tp RM9 while Scientex added 26 sen to RM9.16.
Among the KLCI stocks, Axiata was up 26 sen to RM5.72, Sime Darby added 17 sen to RM2.85 and Petronas Dagangan 18 sen higher at RM24.76.
As for Hengyuan, it rose 22 sen to RM17.18 while semicon and technology related stock Vitrox gained 16 sen to RM6.80 while PMB Tech 15 sen higher to RM4.15.
Riding the wave of optimism was Press Metal and its warrants, up 14 sen each to RM5.44 and RM4.99.
Petronas Gas lost 10 sen to RM18 on mild profit taking.
Caely fell 8.5 sen to 99.5 sen after hitting limit-up on Thursday, which prompted an unusual market activity query from Busa Securities. It was actively traded with 5.34 million shares done.