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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 24 — Bursa Malaysia rallied to a near three-month high today, with the key index rising by 4.04 per cent, on bullish market sentiment following the clarity in the local political scene, coupled with positive external developments that fuel investors’ risk appetite.

At 5pm, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) jumped 58.38 points to end the day at 1,501.88 compared with 1,443.50 at yesterday’s close.

The market bellwether, which opened 7.18 points higher at 1,450.68, its intraday low, thereafter moved in an upbeat momentum throughout the day and hit an intraday high of 1,502.11 in late trading.

Market breadth was bullish with advancers hammering decliners 981 to 197, while 256 counters were unchanged, 899 untraded, and 84 others suspended.

The brisk trading in the market saw turnover increasing sharply to 6.87 billion units worth RM4.19 billion versus 2.68 billion units worth RM1.63 billion yesterday.

Earlier today, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah consented to the appointment of Tambun Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as Malaysia’s 10th Prime Minister.

The appointment was finalised after His Majesty deliberated the opinions of the Malay rulers who convened a special meeting at Istana Negara today.

Anwar, 75, the Chairman of Pakatan Harapan coalition, took his oath as Malaysia’s 10th Prime Minister at Istana Negara at 5pm, after five days of political impasses since the country’s 15th general election which was held last Saturday, November 19, 2022.

Malaysia University of Science and Technology professor and economist Geoffrey Williams said the positive development was very much welcomed as it solved the uncertainty and settled markets.

He believed Anwar, who is well-known internationally with very strong knowledge of economics, would focus on reforms that will be attractive to investors.

“After this, we will look for long-term, credible economic policy, which Anwar and his team will provide. His immediate challenge is to make a credible budget focused on protecting growth for next year and keeping inflation low,” he said.

Meanwhile, Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd vice-president of equity research Thong Pak Leng said Anwar’s appointment should provide a much-needed impetus to the equities market.

“As such, we anticipate the FBM KLCI to trend higher within the range of 1,500-1,530 towards the weekend.

“After breaking the 1,470 and 1,500 resistance, the benchmark index is expected to charge towards the 1,530-1,550 level in the near future,” he said.

On the external front, he said key regional indices closed mostly higher as investors lauded the positive news from the United States Federal Reserve’s November meeting, during which officials agreed that a slower pace of interest rate hikes was likely to be appropriate soon.

Additionally, hopes of fresh economic stimulus from China have also lifted investor sentiment, he said.

The optimism has led to buying spree in several banking stocks — Public Bank surged 24 sen to RM4.52, CIMB jumped 36 sen to RM5.87, Maybank rose 21 sen to RM8.76, RHB Bank bagged 20 sen to RM5.67, and Hong Leong Bank increased 22 sen to RM20.70.

Among other heavyweights, Petronas Chemicals perked 28 sen to RM9.06, IHH Healthcare added one sen to RM6.00, Tenaga advanced 49 sen to RM8.91, while Press Metal put on five sen to RM4.88.

As for the actives, Advance Synergy went up 8.5 sen to 26 sen, Malayan United Industries rose two sen to 12 sen, CSH inched up half-a-sen to four sen, while Eden slipped 4.5 sen to 14.5 sen.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index jumped 402.35 points to 10,668.57, the FBMT 100 Index chalked up 395.39 points to 10,392.82, the FBM Emas Shariah Index soared 388.1 points to 10,804.83, the FBM 70 surged 448.58 points to 12,699.82, and the FBM ACE garnered 236.49 points to 5,210.22.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index shot up 598.67 points to 16,766.88, the Industrial Products and Services Index edged up 5.15 points to 185.01, the Energy Index increased 20.23 points to 764.09, while the Plantation Index gave up 22.63 points to 6,845.06.

The Main Market volume ballooned to 5.59 billion shares worth RM3.89 billion against 1.84 billion shares worth RM1.33 billion yesterday.

Warrants turnover almost doubled to 414.63 million units valued at RM47.23 million from 259.02 million units valued at RM48.58 million yesterday.

The ACE Market volume swelled to 857.64 million shares worth RM257.95 million from 583.73 million shares worth RM256.22 million previously.

Consumer products and services counters accounted for 2.92 billion shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (841.48 million); construction (138.36 million); technology (359.71 million); SPAC (nil), financial services (180.95 million); property (385.72 million); plantation (37.46 million); REITs (6.18 million), closed/fund (14,000); energy (281.94 million); healthcare (149.29 million); telecommunications and media (59.12 million); transportation and logistics (93.67 million); and utilities (141.44 million). — Bernama