KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia ended the morning session on a positive note at mid-day, with consumer stocks dominated Bursa Malaysia gainers’ list at midday amid the lack of catalysts.
At 12.30 pm, the benchmark FBM KLCI rose 3.36 points to 1,752.77, from Monday’s close of 1,749.41. Turnover stood at 2.78 billion shares worth RM1.4bil.
On the broader market, losers thumped gainers 431 to 407, with 391 counters unchanged while 493 untraded.
Consumer counters like Nestle (M) Bhd
rose 44 sen to RM77.82, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd (F&N) gained 38 sen to RM23.98, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd
added 20 sen to RM58 and Panasonic Manufacturing
(M) Bhd rose 2 sen to RM31.92.
Olympia Industries, which was the most heavily traded counter with 111.7 million shares traded, fell 1 sen, or 5.26% to 18 sen on profit taking. The company confirmed yesterday that it planned to dispose its stake in its stockbroking unit Jupiter Securities Sdn Bhd.
Overnight, US equities closed mixed with utilities lagging, while investors turned their eyes to comments from several Federal Reserve officials. Similarly, European markets closed down on Monday as investors focused on the potential impact that trade barriers could have on global growth.
JF Apex expects the local bourse to take a breather and hover between 1,700-1,750 levels.
Gainers in the FBM KLCI component stocks were led by Malayan Banking Bhd
, which contributed 1.6846 points to the index, Petronas Chemicals contributed 1.5866 to the index while Genting Malaysia lifted the index by 0.4907. Maybank closed 10 sen higher to RM9, PetChem rose 12 sen to RM7.57 while Genting Malaysia closed 5 sen higher at RM5.59.
Laggards in the KLCI component stocks were led by Public Bank, Tenaga Nasional and Genting Bhd
Meanwhile, ringgit opened higher against the US dollar today as the greenback remained under pressure after a hawkish stance by the Federal Reserve on interest rate increases.
The local unit was quoted at 4.4292 against the greenback at midday.
Reuters reported that oil prices rose on Tuesday on expectations that an OPEC-led production cut to prop up the market could be extended, while strong demand would also work to slowly erode a global fuel supply overhang.
Brent crude was last traded at US$51.87 per barrel while US crude traded at US$48.39 per barrel.
Elsewhere in the region, Asian shares were mostly higher with the Shanghai Composite Index added 0.19%, South Korea’s Kospi rose 1.08% and the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong was up 0.21% while Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average lost 0.29%.