KUALA LUMPUR: Fund buying of Public Bank and Maybank pushed the FBM KLCI to close at a fresh high of 1,805 on Tuesday in line with the firmer key regional markets, especially China and Hong Kong.
At the close, the KLCI rose 7.63 points or 0.42% to 1,805.31. Turnover was 1.42 billion shares valued at RM2.25bil. There were 415 gainers, 392 losers and 295 counters unchanged.
Banks were among the favourites among funds. Public Bank closed at a record high of RM17.10, up six sen. It hit an intra-day high of RM17.14 ahead of the release of its second quarter earnings and 22 sen per share dividends. It pushed the KLCI up 0.6 of a point.
Maybank rose six sen to RM10.72 and pushed the KLCI up neatly 0.92 of a point. HLFG added 24 sen to RM14.54, RHB Cap 12 sen to RM8.59 and AMMB six sen to RM7.99.
Consumer stocks were mixed, with BAT up 92 sen to RM60.70 while GAB added 26 sen to RM18.02 but F&N fell 20 sen to Rm18.12 in thin trade while Dutch Lady shed 10 sen to RM46.60.
Crude palm oil (CPO) futures fell RM8 to RM2,264. However, interest in plantations perked up in line with blue chips, with KL Kepong up 22 sen to RM21.50 while TAHPS jumped 42 sen to RM6.70. TDM was the most active, surging 11 sen to 97.4 sen with 56.39 million shares done.
Sersol rallied 6.5 sen to 41 sen with 37.12 million shares done while its warrants gained 5.5 sen to 31 sen despite being queried by Bursa Malaysia Securities over the unusual market activity.
ABM Fujiya ended its first trading day at 62 sen, just a two sen premium over its offer price of 60 sen.
The ringgit strengthened to 3.1785 to the US dollar from 3.1804 the previous day.
China shares listed in Hong Kong posted their biggest rise in nearly seven months on Tuesday, buoyed by a series of signals that Chinese authorities were working to limit the extent of a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy.
Minutes before the Hong Kong close, Chinese President Xi Jinping reiterated Beijing's commitment to economic reforms, adding credence to an earlier report that Premier Li Keqiang said growth would not be allowed to sink below 7%.
Among the key regional markets:
Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.82% to 14,778.51;
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rallied 2.33% to 21,915.42;
Shanghai's Composite Index rose 1.95% to 2,043.88;
Taiwan's Taiex rose 1.35% to 8,214.65;
South Korea's Kospi rose 1.27% to 1,904.15 and
Singapore's Straits Times Index rose 0.6% to 3,253.76
US light crude oil fell 78 cents to US$106.16 and Brent 48 cents lower at US$107.67.
Spot gold fell US$8.65 to US$1,327.16.
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