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KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia’s barometer index ended the day above the 1,580 level, thanks to gains in bank and telecommunication counters, positioning it to test the psychological 1,600 resistance soon.

The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) ended at its intra-day high of 1,583.91, by adding 13.09 points compared with 1,570.82 at Monday’s close.

The bellwether index opened 1.52 points better at 1,572.34.

Market breadth was positive as gainers outnumbered decliners 548 to 517, while 456 counters were unchanged, 750 untraded and six others suspended.

Turnover, however decreased to 5.19 billion units worth RM3.55 billion from 6.9 billion units worth RM3.87 billion on Monday.

Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd vice-president of equity research Thong Pak Leng said the local market performed better than expected due to the strong support from foreign funds.

Additionally, the Brent crude oil price inched closer to US$85 per barrel with a short-term target of around US$90 per barrel.

“This shall attract buying interest on oil and gas stocks. Though we may see some intermittent profit-taking, we expect the local bourse to preserve its bullish phase over the short to medium term,” he told Bernama.

Thong said sentiments are turning more positive while market valuation remains at attractive levels.

On the passing of the Windfall Profit Levy (Amendment) Bill 2020, he said the move to tax unexpected gains is not expected to affect glove counters, which have been recording ultra profits since the spread of Covid-19.

“Profits for glove companies will be much lower next year. So, I don’ t think they will impose any levy on them,” he told Bernama.

Top Glove’s net profit jumped 349% to RM7.87 billion in the financial year 2021 (FY2021) from RM1.75 billion in the same period a year earlier.

Revenue for the year also surged by 127% to RM16.4 billion from RM7.24 billion in FY2020.

However, its net profit has declined about 48% to RM607.95 million in the fourth quarter FY2021 as the rollout of vaccinations worldwide dampened demand for gloves.

Glove’s average selling prices (ASPs) are also trending downwards due to increasing global production.

Meanwhile, Hartalega’s first quarter FY2022 net profit soared 928.4% year-on-year to RM2.26 billion from RM219.7 million previously.

Thong said the move could possibly affect plantation counters, which currently saw crude palm oil prices trading near record levels.

CPO futures hit RM5,000 per tonne for the first time last week amid concerns over tight edible oil supplies and bullish demand ahead of the Deepavali festival celebration.

At the close, Top Glove and Hartalega were in positive territory after recent downtrends.

Heavyweights CIMB gained 11 sen to RM5.11, Telekom Malaysia was 28 sen stronger at RM5.96, Public Bank expanded five sen to RM4.16, Axiata was 10 sen higher at RM4.10 and Hartalega jumped 25 sen to RM5.97.

Maybank and Digi rose seven sen to RM8.23 and RM4.35 respectively, while RHB Bank added 14 sen to RM5.55.

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