The FBM KLCI climbed 1.44% at the midday break on the final trading day of April to cross the 1,400 threshold, ahead of the stock exchange closure on May 1, as positive sentiment lifted key index-linked stocks on the local bourse following the easing of the movement control order to unlock the economy and a crude oil price rally.
Meanwhile, West Texas Intermediate crude futures climbed to a high of US$17.35 a barrel and were up 14.3%, or US$2.15, at US$17.21 at 0350 GMT. The US benchmark surged 22% on Wednesday.
At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI rose 19.9 points to 1,400.2.
Market breadth was firmly positive with 554 gainers and 224 losers, while 349 counters traded unchanged. Trading volume was a healthy 3.64 billion shares.
The top gainers included Nestle (M) Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Public Bank Bhd and Tenaga Nasional Bhd.
The actives included Sapura Energy Bhd, Key Alliance Group Bhd, Vortex Consolidated Bhd, Velesto Energy Bhd, KNM Group Bhd, AirAsia Group Bhd and AirAsia X Bhd.
The decliners included United Malacca Bhd, Allianz Malaysia Bhd, Hartalega Holdings Bhd, Rapid Synergy Bhd and Malaysia-listed Hang Seng Index-linked put warrants.
Reuters said Southeast Asian stock markets climbed on Thursday as progress in the development of a Covid-19 treatment and higher oil prices spurred a rally.
Singapore shares jumped as much as 2.3% to a near two-week peak and led gains in the region, underpinned by a jump in DBS Group Holdings shares, it said.
Kenanga IB Research said Asian stocks mostly closed higher yesterday as investors awaited the US Federal Reserve’s decision on interest rate.
It said back home, the FBM KLCI inched up by 8.1 points or 0.59% to finish at 1,380.30.
“Chart-wise, the index — following its rebound from previous oversold position to close the gap that was opened during the mid-March market meltdown — could face renewed selling pressures ahead after testing but failing to break above its 50-day SMA.
“On the chart, our immediate support levels stand at 1,360 (S1) and 1,310 (S2).
“On the upside, we have set our resistance levels at 1,400 (R1) and 1,420 (R2),” it said.