KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 2 (Bernama) -- Bursa Malaysia concluded the first trading day of the decade on a firm footing by breaching 1,600 points in line with most of its regional peers, revelling in the afterglow of the People’s Bank of China's (PBOC) reserve requirement ratio (RRR) cut. 

AxiTrader chief Asia market strategist Stephen Innes said the positive performance in the regional markets, including Bursa Malaysia, was also buoyed by the development in the United States (US)-China trade deal, after the US President Donald Trump tweeted that he would sign the Phase One deal with China on Jan 15, 2020.

At 5pm, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) rebounded 13.74 points, or 0.87 per cent, to close at 1,602.50 from Tuesday's close of 1,588.76.

The market was closed on Wednesday for the new year celebration.

After opening at 1,590.98, the key index hovered between 1,590.98 and 1,603.72 throughout the day.

Innes said the PBOC's RRR cut and the development of the Phase One trade deal were viewed in a positive light, both for China and regional growth. 

"The knock-on effect on the FBM KLCI is directly attributable to the positive economic impulse that the Chinese economy will get from lower interest rates, which should boost Malaysia’s bilateral trade flow with China," he told Bernama.

Meanwhile, Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd vice-president of Research Vincent Lau said bargain-hunting emerged across the board today, particularly in the small-cap and penny stocks, after the local market closed at the intra-day low of 1,588.76 on Dec 31.

"We noticed that shares were overwhelmingly traded today, with the volume touching 3.35 billion compared with 2.25 billion recorded on new year’s eve. This might also signal that the Chinese New Year rally has begun," he said.

The first day of the Chinese New Year falls on Jan 25, about three weeks from today.

At the closing bell, market breadth continued to stay positive, with gainers nearly doubling losers 614 to 308, while 368 counters were unchanged, 655 untraded and 13 others suspended.

Volume widened to 3.35 billion shares worth RM1.85 billion compared with 2.25 billion shares worth RM1.75 billion on Tuesday.

Among heavyweights, Public Bank, which is also the top gainer, bagged 46 sen to RM19.90, Maybank rose 11 sen to RM8.75, IHH increased 10 sen to RM5.57, Petronas Gas added 34 sen to RM16.96 and Maxis was seven sen better at RM5.39.

The actives included Vivocom and its warrant, which ticked up half-a-sen each to two sen and one sen, respectively, Sapura Energy and Bumi Armada gained half-a-sen each to 27.5 sen and 53.5 sen, respectively, while JCY went up 3.5 sen to 35 sen.