KUALA LUMPUR: Investors’ appetite for riskier assets on the first trading day of the Year of the Ox and a jump in crude oil prices enabled the FBM KLCI to close above the critical 1,600 on Monday. At 5pm, the KLCI was up 8.65 points or 0.54% to 1,608.07 but off the day's best as the gains were partly erased by continued selling of glove stocks. The broader market was firmer with advancers beating decliners 2.5 to one. There were 864 gainers, 339 losers and 423 counters unchanged. Turnover was 10.02 billion shares valued at RM4.68bil. Reuters reported global shares rose for the 11th day in a row to hit a fresh peak on optimism about the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines and new fiscal aid from Washington, while tensions in the Middle East drove oil to a 13-month high. With China and Hong Kong markets closed for the Lunar New Year holiday, Japan's Nikkei led the way, climbing 1.9% to reclaim the 30,000 level for the first time in more than three decades. At Bursa, tech and semicon stocks continue to see strong investor interest as Genetec jumped RM1.06 to RM5.81, UWC 70 sen to FRM14.18, Vitrox 56 sen to RM17.84, MPI 50 sen tp RM39.10 and PMB Tech 37 sen to RM5.62. However, MI lost 12 sen to RM5.08. Paragon Union jumped 52 sen to RM2.27 which saw Bursa Securities querying the company over the unusual market activity. Earlier, AKK Capital Sdn Bhd announced the takeover offer of Paragon Union shares would remain open for acceptances until March 8. In late January, AKK bought 60.41% stake or 39.97 million shares of Paragon for 55 sen each or RM21.98mil. Also queried was Grand Hoover when its share price jumped by 40 sen to RM1.76. A surge in crude oil prices lifted oil and gas stocks. Brent crude was up $1.02, or 1.6%, at $63.45 a barrel at 0806 GMT, after climbing to a session high of $63.76, the highest since Jan. 22,2020. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained $1.28, or 2.2%, to $60.75 a barrel. It touched $60.95 - its highest since Jan. 8 last year, earlier in the session, according to Reuters. Petronas Dagangan rose 38 sen to RM19.88, Petronas Gas 10 sen to RM16.30 and Petronas Chemicals six sen to RM7.56. Dialog added four sen to RM3.15. MISC rose 23 sen to RM6.49. Tenaga rose 12 sen to RM10.18, GentingM seven sen to RM2.75 and Genting six sen to RM4.46. However, Hartalega fell 24 sen to RM12.46, Supermax 14 sen to RM6.10 and Top Glove shed one sen to RM6.17. MR DIY was down 16 sen to RM3.31 but its shares had doubled since its listing last year at RM1.60. As for finance and bank stocks, HLFG fell 20 sen to RM17.10 and HL Bank 18 sen to RM18.22 and Public Bank shed three sen to RM4.21. RHB Bank rose 16 sen to RM5.48, Maybank 14 sen to RM8.12 and CIMB three sen to RM4.22. Among plantations, IOI Corp added 10 sen to RM4.37, KL Kepong and PPB Group eight sen each to RM23.08 and RM18.78 and Sime Plantation one sen to RM4.95.
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