At close, the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (KLCI) added 3.53 points to 883.16. It opened 3.19 points higher at 882.82.
"Most investors have extended their Chinese New Year holidays, in line with those of most North Asian markets," said TA Securities in its market review.
Some profit-taking was seen in lower liner counters, said a dealer.
TA Securities said the KLCI is likely to range within a lower boundary of 865-870 and an upper boundary of 880-885.
“Any bear market rally attempt should meet more formidable resistance at the 900 psychological level,” it added.
Gainers led losers by 200 to 172 while 181 counters were unchanged, 701 untraded and 29 others suspended.
Volume stood at 286.648 million shares worth RM415.289 million, up from the 213.002 million worth RM268.227 million registered yesterday.
IOI Corp added 10 sen, or 2.7 per cent, to RM3.84, the most in more than three weeks. The country’s No. 2 oil-palm grower is one of several companies that may see their weightings increase in a new benchmark index to be introduced by the local stock exchange in July, Edward Ong, an analyst at Macquarie Group Ltd, said in a report today.
“Although our fundamental view on the companies we cover has not changed, investors would be well advised to bear the potential weighting changes in mind,” Ong wrote.
Other companies on Ong’s list, including AMMB Holdings Bhd, the country’s fifth-largest bank by assets, and Bumiputra-Commerce Holdings Bhd, the third-biggest bank, also rose. AMMB gained 0.9 per cent to RM2.32, while Bumiputra advanced 1.6 per cent to RM6.30, its highest since January 19.
Malaysian Airline System Bhd added 3 sen, or 1.1 per cent, to RM2.87, the biggest gain since January 22. The nation’s biggest airline said it cut fuel surcharges on its international flights by as much as 73 per cent. The carrier will also remove the surcharge on flights to Singapore and Brunei starting tomorrow, it said in a statement today.
MMC Corp gained 3 sen, or 2.4 per cent, to RM1.26, its highest level since December 4. The company delayed a plan to take over control of a water company in Johor by about three weeks until February 20. MMC said in August it will pay as much as RM240 million for the water treatment company.
Time dotCom Bhd climbed 1.5 sen, or 5.7 percent, to 28 sen, the biggest jump in more than three weeks. The unprofitable phone company said it will implement a turnaround plan that may help it return to profit in the fourth quarter. Time plans to cut RM3.5 million in costs annually from 2009 through measures including a review of capital expenditure, chief executive officer Afzal Abdul Rahim said today. - Bernama, Bloomberg