KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI managed to hold on to its gains at midday on Friday after a weaker early start, supported by gains in PetGas despite the negative US policy outlook.
At 12.30pm, the KLCI rose 8.84 points to 1,842.71. Turnover was 662.77 million valued at RM724.03mil. There were 317 gainers, 304 decliners and 281 counters unchanged.
Reuters reported Asian markets are likely to stay under pressure on Friday as investors fret over the outlook for US policy stimulus, though Japanese stocks could draw comfort from a reversal in the yen against the dollar.
It said an upbeat reading on US retail sales heightened speculation the Federal Reserve might start trimming its asset buying as early as next week, and saw analysts boost forecasts for economic growth this quarter.
At Bursa Malaysia, PetGas rose 70 sen to RM23.30.
HLFG was up 22 sen to RM15.76 but HLCap 14 sen to RM9.52.
Crude palm oil fell RM29 to RM2,584 but KL Kepong rose 20 sen to RM24.70 and PPB Group 16 sen to RM15.46.
Puncak was up 15 sen to RM3.56 and its warrants, Puncak-WB rose 18 sen to RM2.61.
Consumer stocks fell with BAT down 38 sen to RM63.76, GAB 12 sen to RM15.66 and Dutch Lady 10 sen to RM47.18.
The ringgit weakened against the dollar at 3.2350 from 3.2297 the previous close.
Among the key regional markets,
Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.99% to 15,494.29;
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.43% to 23,318.13;
Shanghai’s Composite Index rose 0.03% to 2,203.42;
Taiwan’s Taiex rose 0.23% to 8,380.43;
South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.35% to 1,961.09;
Singapore’s Straits Times Index rose 0.03% to 3,059.94.
US light crude oil rose three cents to US$97.53 and Brent 13 cents to US$108.80.
Spot gold rose US$2.02 to US$1,227.51.