The overnight decline on Wall Street failed to drag down the local bourse which saw the benchmark Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (KLCI) close 19.49 points higher or 2.3 percent at 854.7.
The dealers said gains particularly in banking and plantation stocks had pushed the KLCI higher.
The KLCI, which moved between 835.38 and 854.66 during the whole session, was 0.21 of a point higher at 835.38 at the opening bell.
The Industrial Index rose 46.81 points to 2,047.0, the Finance Index surged 157.72 points to 6,589.07 and the Plantation Index went up 94.56 points to 3,859.95.
The FBMEmas increased 114.39 points to 5,568.67, the FBM30 jumped 125.98 points to 5,474.11, the FBMMesdaq improved 92.39 points to 3,298.40 and the FBM2BRD was 20.47 points higher at 3,961.42.
Gainers thumped losers by 307 to 163, while 203 counters closed unchanged, with 576 untraded and 30 counters suspended.
However, turnover was mild at 463.35 million shares valued at RM619.71 million from yesterday’s close of 529.04 million shares worth RM791.06 million.
IOI Corp, Malaysia’s second- largest palm-oil producer, rose 16 sen, or 5.2 per cent, to RM3.22, its biggest increase since November 27. Sime Darby Bhd, the No. 1 planter, added 15 sen, or 2.9 per cent, to RM5.25.
Asiatic Development Bhd jumped 16 sen, or 5.4 per cent, to RM3.10. Palm oil futures in Malaysia advanced as much as 2.8 per cent today, extending yesterday’s 3.7 per cent increase, amid gains in crude oil.
Bumiputra-Commerce Holdings Bhd, Malaysia’s second-largest bank, gained 25 sen, or 4.5 per cent, to RM5.80, its steepest increase since November 3.
The stock’s 14-day relative strength index, which shows how rapidly prices have advanced or dropped, fell to 29 yesterday, below the 30 level that some investors use as a trigger to buy.
MMC Corp slid 2 sen, or 1.7 per cent, to RM1.13, its lowest close since March 10, 2006.
The Malaysian port and power-plant operator may sell a stake in Port of Tanjung Pelepas, the country’s second-largest container port, to raise funds for expansion, the Business Times reported.
Domestic and overseas investors, including Taiwan’s Evergreen Marine Corp. are interested in buying a stake, the newspaper said, citing people it didn’t name.
Oilcorp Bhd, an engineering services provider, plunged 38 sen, or 49 per cent, to 40 sen, the most since January 12, 1998, when it resumed trade after being suspended since May 20.
The shares were suspended because of a delay in submitting its 2007 audited accounts. Oilcorp submitted its re-audited accounts on December 3.
Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd dropped 22 sen, or 13 per cent, to RM1.46, the most since October 28.
The insurer scrapped talks to sell a stake in itself to Islamic Arab Insurance Co PJSC. It didn’t give a reason. Syarikat Takaful in November 2007 won central-bank approval to begin negotiations.
TM International Bhd rose 20 sen, or 6.3 per cent, to RM3.40, its biggest advance since October 14.
Macquarie Group Ltd. said in a report today financing risks at the mobile-phone operator are “dissipating” and the brokerage expects the company’s local and Indonesian units to be “shining key drivers” for earnings for 2008-2011. - Agencies