KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian equities started Thursday on a positive note, suggesting that the decline in the previous session was a brief bout of profit-taking in a still-bullish market.

At 9.05am, the FBM KLCI was up 5.37 points to 1,592.26 as the blue-chip index bounced higher towards the 1,600 psychological level.

“We believe the local stocks will continue to eke out gains after taking a breather a investors’ confidence could be boosted by the pre-budget statement issued by the Finance Ministry, which is believed to spur economic recovery,” said Malacca Securites Research in a note.

It noted the ongoing interest in recovery-themed sectors such as building material, banking and consumers, following the pullback.

“Besides, the technology stocks may track overnight gains in the Nasdaq while solar-related stocks may be having higher trading interest due to PV contracts being awarded to several companies,” it added.

In early trade, banks stocks seemed to have stabilised after recent bouts of price rallies and profit-taking.

Maybank was up one sen to RM8.30, Public Bank was flat at RM4.08, CIMB rose three sen to RM4.92 and Hong Leong Bank dipped two sen to RM18.90.

Telcos were mixed with Axiata dropping two sen to RM4.05, Maxis rose seven sen to RM4.61 and Digi climbing nine sen to RM4.43.

IHH Healthcare was seen jumping 10 sne to RM6.43 while Tenaga gained 10 sen to RM10.44.

Among actives, HWGB surged 9.5 sen to 39.5 sen, Sapura Energy lost 0.5 sen to 12.5 sen and TFP was up one sen to 23 sen.

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