FBM KLCI edges higher amid talk of economic reopening

KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI moved slightly higher in morning trade on some bargain-hunting activity in anticipation that the government may be looking at restarting business activity in less than three months.

At 12.30pm, the country’s key index was 2.97 points higher at 1,515.5.

Despite the number of daily new Covid-19 infections in the country reaching an all-time high, the government expects to lift the movement control order in most states by as early as October due to the ramping up of the vaccination programme.

The Prime Minister has said most states could move into the fourth phase of the National Recovery Plan by the start of the fourth quarter of the year even as the number of daily Covid-related deaths recorded on Monday reached a new high of 207.

Across the blue-chip index, stocks saw mild rebounds following the previous day’s selldown.

MISC was the most improved, rising 13 sen to RM6.81.

Financial stocks edged higher, led by Hong Leong gaining eight sen to RM18.18, Public Bank rising two sen to RM4.02, Maybank adding one sen to RM8.01 and CIMB climbing four sen to RM4.53.

Meanwhile, Top Glove dropped 12 sen to RM3.98 and Hartalega slid nine sen to RM7.30.

On the broader market, top actives were Serba Dinamik up 0.5 sen to 42.5 sen, BCM Alliance unchanged at 15.5 sen and PUC up 0.5 sen to 18 sen.

Among major Asian indices, there was some rebound following yesterday’s rout in China markets although Hong Kong’s equities remained submerged due to the ongoing tech sell-off.

Japan’s Nikkei was up 0.5% and South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.7%.

China’s main index was up 0.1% despite a continued sell-off in the technology and education sectors as authorities moved to tighten regulatory controls.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 1%, weighed down by the large declines in major tech stocks.

Australia’s ASX200 was up 0.5%.