KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's blue chips continued their winning streak on Wednesday, with the FBM KLCI surging more than 40 points over the past three days on fund buying of banks and Genting.
At the close, the FBM KLCI was up 14.74 points or 0.89% to 1,667.57. Turnover was 989.97 million shares valued at RM2.24bil. There were 418 gainers, 270 losers and 336 counters unchanged.
Wednesday's trading pattern reflected investors' confidence after JP Morgan Asia Pacific Research's move to upgrade several key stocks on Bursa Malaysia which would benefit from the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) and also the easing of the Cyprus crisis.
Noticeably, trading volume on Bursa Malaysia had increased from 822.26 million shares valued at RM1.94bil on Tuesday and 708.60 million shares valued at RM1.46bil on Monday compared with the lacklustre trading pattern last week.
On the external front, Asian shares rose after US home prices climbed the most since 2006 and orders for durable goods beat estimates.
Among the key regional markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.18% to 12,493.79; Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index added 0.69% to 22,464.82; Shanghai's Composite Index gained 0.16% to 2,301.26; Taiwan's Taiex 0.48% higher at 7,894.12 and South Korea's Kospi edged up 0.49% to 1,993.44 while Singapore's Straits Times Index gained 0.73% to 3,312.67.
At Bursa Malaysia, CIMB Group led the charge as investors picked up the banking stock, sending it up 33 sen to RM7.69 and pushing the KLCI up a hefty 5.66 points. Maybank rose 10 sen to RM9.39 and Public Bank 12 sen to RM16.22.
Genting Malaysia rose 15 sen to RM3.60 and Genting Bhd nine sen to RM9.99 while among the Petronas related counters, PetGas added 28 sen to RM19.18 and PetChem three sen to RM6.39.
Among the consumer stocks, BAT rose 82 sen to RM62.28 but Dutch Lady fell 24 sen to RM47.42 and F&N 18 sen lower at RM18.42.
Crude palm oil for third-month futures rose RM14 to RM2,451. United Plantations rose 30 sen to RM27.80 while KLK and IOI Corp were flat at RM20.70 and RM4.66. SOP fell 10 sen to RM5.53.
The ringgit weakened against the US dollar to 3.0987 from 3.0936 the previous day.
US light crude oil fell 36 cents to US$95.98 and Brent 13 cents lower at US$109.23.
Spot gold fell US$5.26 to US$1,594.79.