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Published: Tuesday December 11, 2012 MYT 5:53:00 PM

Malaysia's KLCI top performer among regional markets

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia blue chips closed higher on Tuesday, supported by fund buying of telcos and plantation stocks which could be linked to some window-dressing activities.

At the close, the FBM KLCI was up 9.42 points or 0.58% to 1,641.57. It was the top performer among the key regional markets. Turnover was 899.67 million shares valued at RM1.59bil.

The number of advancing counters improved in the late afternoon as buying activity picked up, with 370 gainers to 280 losers and 332 counters unchanged.

European shares managed to eke out some gains amid the political turmoil in Italy. Investors were awaiting German confidence data later and the US Federal Reserve's end of year meeting, wire reports said.

Among the key regional markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.09% to 9,525.32 while Shanghai's Composite Index dropped 0.44% to 2,074.70.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 0.21% to 22,323.94; Taiwan's Taiex added 0,06% to 7,613.69 and South Korea's Kospi edged up 0.37% to 1,964.62 and Singapore's Straits Times Index inched up 0.13% to 3,118.33.

The ringgit was firmer against the US dollar, rising to 3.0577 compared with the previous close of 3.0613.

Crude palm oil for third-month futures fell RM24 to RM2,289 per tonne but this did not put much a dampener on plantation stocks on expectations that CPO prices would be better next year.

Among the plantation stocks, KL Kepong rose the most, up 24 sen to RM21.10, Genting Plantations added 17 sen to RM8.35, Far East added 15 sen to RM7, Sime Darby seven sen to RM9.12 and IOI Corp six sen to RM4.99.. However, United Plantations fell 34 sen to RM24.86 and PPB 20 sen to RM11.80.

Telekom Malaysia rose 21 sen to RM5.68 and Axiata 14 sen to RM6.33 while Maxis added 10 sen to RM6.60, pushing up the KLCI a total of 4.5 points. DiGi added four sen to RM4.90.

DSC Solutions closed unchanged in volatile trade at 16.5 sen after it was queried by Bursa Malaysia Securities over the sharp rise in price and volume of shares recently.

Nestle was the top loser, down 70 sen to RM63.90 and Dutch Lady 16 sen to RM45.94.

Time dotCom gave up half of its gains from Monday, falling 20 sen to RM3.77.

On the commodities front, US light crude oil rose 15 cents to RM85.71 and Brent 40 cents to RM107.73 while spot gold fell US$3.38 to US$1,709.74.

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