KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's FBM KLCI has set a new record for closing at fresh record highs for the fourth consecutive day this week when the 30-stock index closed at 1,620, underpinned by fund buying of Genting stocks and banks.
Sentiment firmed up in afternoon trade on Friday, despite the cautious regional markets, with buying interest continuing to pick up while the broader market improved.
At 5pm, the FBM KLCI was up 6.12 points or 0.38% to 1,620.55. Turnover was 1.14 billion shares valued at RM1.55bil. Advancing counters beat decliners 482 to 281 while 322 counters were unchanged.
Among the key regional markets, Shanghai's Composite Index rose 1.01% to 2,223.58 and Singapore's Straits Times Index added 0.24% to 2,978.55.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was unchanged at 19,800.64, dragged down by financials after China's second interest rate cut in weeks raised concerns that bank net interest rate margins are eroding and economic growth has been weaker than expected.
Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.65% to 9,020.75; Taiwan's Taiex shed 0.26% to 7,368.59 and South Korea's Kospi lost 0.92% to 1,858.20.
US light crude oil fell US$1.44 to US$85.78 and Brent US$1.26 to US$99.44 while spot gold fell below US$1,600, down US$9.42 to US$1,595.15. The ringgit was quoted at 3.1740 to the US dollar.
At Bursa Malaysia, Genting rose 19 sen to RM9.85, pushing the KLCI up 1.65 points while Genting Malaysia added 10 sen to RM3.68, pushing the index up 0.92 of a point.
Crude palm oil for third-month delivery fell RM34 to RM3,130. However, KLK added 10 sen to RM24, PPB eight sen to RM16.08 and SOP 20 sen to RM6.68.
BAT was the top gainer, up RM1 to RM57, KPJ-WA rose 29 sen to RM4.45 and KPJ 28 sen to RM6.20 while KLCCP added 20 sen to RM4.91.
Cement stocks Tasek added 40 sen to RM9.22 and Lafarge 27 sen to RM7.95 on expectations of a pick up in demand as construction picks up.
Among the banks, Public Bank rose eight sen to RM13.98 and AMMB five sen to RM6.40.
Pharmaceuticals fell 20 sen to RM10.70, China Stationery 13 sen to RM1.22 and PetGas eight sen to RM17.90.