KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips ended Thursday on a firm note, supported by Petronas stocks, BAT and CIMB while confidence in the broader market improved as trading volume increased.
Gold price rose more than 1% to US$1,203.77 per ounce.
At Bursa, AirAsia
was in focus, climbing in active trade on expectations of a corporate exercise which will re-rate the low-cost carrier.
At 5pm, the KLCI was up 2.55 points or 0.15% to 1,677.76. Turnover was 2.54 billion shares valued at RM2.19bil. The broader market was firm with 539 gainers to 298 losers and 347 counters unchanged.
The dollar sank to a five-week low below 114 yen on Thursday and was on course for its worst week since November, hit by a loss of confidence in the US reflation trade which has dominated markets since Donald Trump's election, Reuters reported.
The ringgit rose 0.31% to 4.4583 from 4.4722 while it slipped against the pound sterling to 5.4841 from 5.4341 and weakened against the Singapore dollar to 3.1282 from 3.1119 and lost ground against the Euro to 4.7482 from 4.7202.
Oil prices rose on Thursday, supported by reports OPEC was starting to cut output and expectations of strong demand growth in China, but rising US crude inventories reinforced concerns over plentiful global supplies, Reuters reported.
US light crude oil rose 10 sen to RM52.35 and Brent gained 29 cents to US$55.39.
Petronas Gas rose 24 sen to RM20.9 while Petronas Chemicals added five sen to RM7.20 and pushing the KLCI up 1.5 points. Petronas Dagangan added two sen to RM23.80.
As for consumer stocks, BAT rose RM1.92 to RM48.50 and pushed the KLCI up 0.93 of a point, Carlsberg added 24 sen to RM14.14 but Nestle fell 18 sen to RM75.82.
Among the finance and banks, HLFG rose 18 sen to RM15.08, CIMB rose four sen to RM4.86, RHB Bank and AmBank two sen each to RM4.95 and RM4.49, Public Bank was flat at RM20.06.
Batu Kawan was the top performer among the plantations, up 24 sen to RM18.76 while Chine Tek added 12 sen to RM7.97. KL Kepong gained eight sen to RM24.20, Sime Darby and PPB Group were flat at RM8.50 and RM16.30 while IOI Corp shed two sen to RM6.11.
MAHB also held on its gains, up 15 sen to RM6.25.
AirAsia was in focus, rebounding a one month high when it added 13 sen to RM2.51.
advanced seven sen to RM8.37 but Genting Malaysia fell three sen to RM4.82. Tenaga was flat at RM14.
Maxis was flat at RM6.12, Telekom lost two sen to RM6.11 while Digi and Axiata shed three sen each to RM4.88 and RM4.69.
IFCA MSC rose 4.5 sen to 41 sen with 95.4 million shares done.
Among the key regional markets,
Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.17% to 19,134.70;
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.46% to 22,829.02;
CSI 300 lost 0.51% to 3,317.62;
Shanghai’s Composite Index lost 0.56% to 3,119.29;
Hang Seng China Enterprise shed 0.11% to 9,723.05;
Taiwan’s Taiex rose 0.69% to 9,410.18;
South Korea’s Kospi added 0.58% to 2,087.14 and
Singapore’s Straits Times Index shed 0.26% to 2,993.