KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia ended higher on Friday as Bank Negara revealed a better-than-expected result for Malaysia's economy in the second quarter.
Bank Negara announced at noon that the country's gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 8.9% in the second quarter, significantly higher than the median forecast of 6.7% growth by a Reuters poll of economists.
At closing, the FBM KLCI rose 0.63 of-a-point to 1,506.19 after hitting an intraday high of 1,511.80. On a weekly basis, the benchmark index added 4.64 points.
In the wider market, gainers outnumbered losers 440 to 367, with 2.08 billion shares worth RM1.63bil changing hands.
Investors' sentiment improved following the lower-than-expected US inflation data released on Wednesday, raising hopes for smaller Federal Reserve rate hikes.
Among the gainers on Bursa Malaysia, Panasonic Manufacturing gained 38 sen to RM26.48, Chin Hin rose 22 sen to RM5.23 and Rapid advanced 22 sen to RM13.20.
Imaspro jumped 29 sen, 6.89% to RM4.50, its all-time high. Year-to-date, the counter has risen over 83%.
Batu Kawan fell 50 sen to RM23.30, KESM lost 30 sen to RM7.30 and Malaysian Pacific Industries shed 16 sen to M32.04.,
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Hartalega eased 28 sen, or 12.28% to RM2 with 48.28 million shares traded. The glovemaker has fallen over 64% so far this year.
Meanwhile, the ringgit was quoted at 4.4450, down 0.01% against the US dollar.
Among the key regional markets:
Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed up 2.62% to 28,546.98;
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.46% to 20,175.62;
Shanghai Composite Index closed down 0.15% to 3,276.89;
Taiwan’s Taiex added 0.6% to 15,288.97;
South Korea’s Kospi advanced 0.16% to 2,527.94 and;
Singapore’s Straits Times Index fell 0.99% to 3,269.27 points.