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March 18, 2021

Exchanges Open Higher, PEMERKASA Boosts Positive Sentiment

 Bursa Malaysia opened higher today, driven by the announcement of the Strategic Program to Empower the People and the Economy (PEMERKASA) by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Wall Street which was positive following the announcement of the US Federal Reserve's (Fed) policy in favor of lower interest rates.

At 9.06am, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia (FBM KLCI) market index rose 5.83 points to close at 1,630.80 from 1,624.97 at the close yesterday.

The index opened 1.21 points higher at 1,626.18.

On the broader market, gainers outnumbered losers by 355 to 207 while 316 counters were unchanged, 1,369 untraded and 27 others suspended.

Bernama reported turnover stood at 713.02 million shares worth RM218.72 million.

Malacca Securities is confident that the RM20 billion economic stimulus package, which also involves several programs such as increased micro-credit financing and extension of wage subsidies, will strengthen the economic recovery as well as market sentiment in the future.

The government also intends to implement a more targeted approach in combating the Covid-19 pandemic to replace the Movement Control Order (PKP) nationwide or in a state.

“We believe that this economic stimulus package will shine a light on recovery -themed sectors such as tourism, gaming, aviation, banking and consumers.

"Besides that, investors can also focus on utility counters due to the stability of the sector. Meanwhile, traders may want to focus on recession -themed sectors such as real estate and construction to find trading opportunities, ”he said in a note today.

Moreover, the US stock market rebounded strongly as the Dow (+0.6%) led the 33,000 psychological level after the US Federal Reserve maintained a low interest rate stance at least until 2023.

Among heavyweights, the bank recovered from the decline with Public Bank and CIMB rising five sen each to RM4.29 and RM4.56, respectively, while Maybank rose seven sen to RM8.42.

TM added 12 sen to RM6.52, Genting added five sen to RM5.35, and PetChem was two sen higher at RM8.19.

Meanwhile, Top Glove declined four sen to RM5.34 and Supermax fell five sen to RM4.30 after rising on Wednesday.

For active counters, Pasukhas fell half-a-sen to 3.5 sen, Pegasus and AirAsia X gained half-a-sen to 3.5 sen and 11 sen, respectively, while Scomi was one sen higher at 6.5 sen.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index rose 35.16 points to 11,958.80, the FBMT 100 rose 36.53 points to 11,634.94, and the FBM Emas Shariah Index recovered 11.08 points to 13,257.23.

FBM 70 was 29.60 points high at 15,736.30 and FBM ACE was up 102.93 points to 10,705.12.

By sector, the Financial Services Index jumped 109.16 points to 15,609.12, the Plantation Index fell 2.59 points to 7,198.00, and the Services and Industry Index rose 1.0 point to 192.83.