The benchmark FBM KLCI closed 5.79 points, or 0. 32% higher at 1,822.67. The market traded within a range of 7.03 points between an intra-day high of 1,825.81 and a low of 1,818.78 during the session.
Trading volume fell to 3.93 billion shares worth RM3.28bil. Market breadth was positive with 643 stocks finishing higher as compared to 389 ending lower while 389 counters were unchanged.
Dealers said sentiments on the local stock market picked up tracking US sentiments. They expect sentiment to improve ahead of the impending general elections and upcoming earnings season.
Adding to the upbeat note, the ringgit continued to strengthen to 3.96 at midday. The last time the local note appreciated close to this level was in May 2016.
The ringgit was quoted at 3.9718 against the US dollar at 5.20pm. The ringgit has also benefitted from the Brent crude which closed above US$70 a barrel, the highest since December 2014.
At Bursa Malaysia, Kuchai Development Bhd hit limit up today, rising 52 sen or 29.55% to RM2.28, its record high. It is one of the top gainer on Bursa Malaysia on news that the company is poised to be a major beneficiary from the impending listing of Great Eastern’s insurance arm in Malaysia.
Panasonic Manufacturing surged RM1.20 to RM38.98, Kluang rose 95 sen to RM4.60 while Nestle gained 70 sen to RM104.
The decliners on Bursa Malaysia included British American Tobacco , Tasek, Inari-C3 and BIMB.
Petronas Gas was one of the movers among the KLCI component stocks. The counter rose 50 sen to RM19 pushing the index up by 1.755 points. Genting gained 18 sen to RM9.36, nudging the index up by 1,230 points while Press Metal advanced 17 sen to RM5.70, contributing 1.156 points to the index.
Elsewhere in the region, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index ended trading at a record high on Friday, after rising for 14 consecutive days in the longest ever winning streak that reflects sustained investor optimism even after a bumper 2017.
The Hang Seng index was up 292.15 points or 0.94% at 31,412.54 while Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 1.41% to 12,468.93.