KUALA LUMPUR: Persistent buying interest in index-linked counters and small capitalisation stocks against a backdrop of positive market sentiment spurred Bursa Malaysia to close stronger for the fifth consecutive trading.
At 5pm the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) finished at the intra-day high of 1,721.93, up 18.36 points, from yesterday's close of 1,703.57.
The key index remained in the positive territory, staying above the 1,700 points level, throughout the day.
Hermana Capital Bhd Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer Datuk Dr Nazri Khan Adam Khan said the local bourse's performance was influenced by easing worries over the trade war between the United States and China.
"Reduction in tension sparked investors' risk appetite. So far there is no additional worries to the market. They (market players) are cheering over this positive development," he told Bernama.
Similarly, regional bourses also staged an uptrend with Japan's Nikkei 225 increasing 1.85% to 22,597.35, Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.21% to 28,541.57 and Singapore's Straits Times added 0.31% to 3,262.94.
Back home, the overall market breadth was bullish with gainers thumping losers 605 to 315 with 422 counters unchanged, 567 untraded and 19 others were suspended.
Volume increased sharply to 3.27 billion units, valued at RM2.83 billion, from 2.69 billion units, worth RM2.51 billion, recorded yesterday.
Of heavyweights, Maybank added one sen to RM9.51, Tenaga chalked up 16 sen to RM14.64, both Petronas Chemicals and CIMB rose nine sen each to RM8.62 and RM5.72 respectively, while Public Bank was flat at RM23.00.
Trading in IHH Healthcare, which was halted at 9.22am, resumed in the afternoon and closed three sen higher at RM6.00 with 5.44 million shares changing hands.
Earlier, the group announced that its indirect wholly-owned unit had proposed to subscribe approximately 31.1% in India's chain of specialist hospitals, Fortis Healthcare Limited, for RM2.35 billion.
Among actives, MRCB lost five sen to 69 sen, APFT inched up half-a-sen to three sen, MyEG bagged 4.5 sen to 90.5 sen while Borneo Oil was flat at six sen.
BAT was the biggest gainer today, bagging 80 sen to RM33.20 while Ajinomoto topped the losers list, giving up 30 sen to RM21.70.
The FBM Emas Index chalked up 131.32 points to 12,146.21, the FBM70 surged 164.18 points to 14,783.63, the FBMT100 Index soared 128.7 points to 11,948.03, the FBM Emas Shariah Index increased 143.42 points to 12,238.76, the FBM Ace Index advanced 33.6 points to 5,351.34 and the FTSE Bursa Malaysia Small Cap Index climbed 170.79 points to 14,242.47.
Sector-wise, the Finance Index bolstered 122.42 points to 17,034.38, the Industrial Index bagged 29.85 points to 3,179.56 and the Plantation Index gained 22.78 points to 7,512.54.
Main Market volume widened to 2.15 billion shares, valued at RM2.56 billion, from 1.79 billion shares, worth RM2.27 billion, recorded on Thursday.
Warrants turnover improved to 761.7 million units, valued at RM183.47 million, versus yesterday's 646.28 million units worth RM183.91 million.
Volume on the ACE Market improved to 356.5 million shares, valued at RM83.38 million, from 247.06 million shares, worth RM52.7 million, transacted yesterday.