At 5pm, the FBM KLCI was up 14.18 points or 0.78% to 1,832.15, stretching the winning streak to the fourth day. It was the best performer among the key Asian markets.
Turnover was 6.96 billion shares valued at RM4.59bil. The highest was 7.669bil shares on Aug 20, 2014. The broader market was firm with 757 gainers, 324 losers and 411 counters unchanged.
All key Asian markets closed higher, riding on the positive sentiment while Japan was closed.
The ringgit was unchanged against the US dollar at 3.9975. However, it rose 0.05% against the pound sterling to 5.4104 and gained 0.58% to the euro at 4.7908. It was up 0.35% to the Singapore dollar at 3.0011, after strengthening to 2.9976 earlier.
Last Friday, Fortress Capital chief executive officer Thomas Yong said the performance of FBM KLCI has been lagging regional markets for the past few years.
“Although GDP is expected to moderate in the year 2018, it is still commendable to grow at 5.0% to 5.5%. With corporate earnings growth turning back to positive last year, the KLCI should attract some foreign funds.
“Market sentiments are also upbeat on the coming general election which is expected to take place around March to May 2018. With the list of infrastructure projects expected to commence this year, news flow should continue to be positive,” he said.
He said the ringgit had stabilised and gained strength against other currencies after Bank Negara Malaysia required exporters to convert proceeds into ringgit.
“Strong exports and expectation of raising interest rate in early this year would continue to support the strength of ringgit. Furthermore, the strength of crude oil prices would also help the government to achieve its fiscal target.”
Tenaga rose 28 sen to RM15.70 and pushed the KLCI up 2.61 points but Genting Bhd lost 12 sen to RM9.50 and Genting Malaysia two sen to RM5.78.
CIMB gained 12 sen RM6.82 and Hong Leong Bank was up 40 sen to RM17.60. AmBank added eight sen to RM4.68, Maybank five sen to RM9.85, Public Bank four sen to RM20.82 and RHB Bank one sen to RM5.19. LPI, which is a major shareholder in Public Bank, added 32 sen to RM19.
US light crude oil rose two cents to US$61.46 but Brent shed eight cents to US$67.54.
Petronas Gas added 84 sen to RM19.20 and powered the KLCI up 2.74 points while Petronas Dagangan added 46 sen to RM25.16 and Petronas Chemical was unchanged at RM8.15.
Crude palm oil fell RM11 to RM2,583 per tonne. However, the positive market sentiment saw KL Kepong gaining 24 sen to RM25.12, PPB Group 14 sen higher at RM17.44 and IOI Corp added four sen to RM4.64.
Sime Darby Plantation was flat at RM5.61, Sime Darby up two sen to RM2.79 while Sime Property gained three sen to RM1.69.
Consumer stocks fared well with F&N at a record high of RM28.38, up 56 sen and Dutch Lady gained 46 sen to RM60.50.
Burn-in tester Kesm was the top gainer, up RM1.28 to RM22.20.However, Unisem fell 19 sen to RM3.41.
Penny oil and gas stocks saw very active trade. Sapura Energy jumped 16.5 sen to 97.5 sen with 321.55 million shares done. UMW Oil and Gas added 4.5 sen to 45.5 sen and Sumatec 0.5 sen to six sen.