KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI eked out marginal gains in early Wednesday trade, nudged up by BAT after its stronger earnings and dividend, while the broader market was also slightly firmer.
Sasbadi Holding was in focus on its trading debut on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia.
At 9.15am, it was up 54 sen to RM1.73. The KLCI was up 0.6 of a point to 1,871.9 despite slipping to 1,869 earlier.
Turnover was 302.83 million shares valued at RM151.60mill. There were 198 gainers, 144 losers and 220 counters unchanged.
The firmer market sentiment also mirrored the key regional markets after the strong overnight close on Wall Street.
US stocks rose on Tuesday, lifting the S&P 500 to a record, as Wall Street considered quarterly earnings and data that cast a benign light on inflation and progress in the housing market.
JF Apex Research expected the positive lead from Wall Street to galvanise sentiment in Asian markets.
“As such, we expect the KLCI to be positive today after bouncing off the support of 1,860,” it said.
BAT was the top gainer, jumping RM1 to RM69 after net profit for the first half ended June 30, 2014 (H1FY14) was above expectations at 56% of its and 54% of consensus full-year forecasts.
Giving the share price a boost was a second interim dividend of 78 sen per share.
Property-based SHL extended its gains for the second day, up 17 sen to RM2.87 while Country View gained 15 sen to RM3.33. OSK Properties rose 10 sen to RM2.29.
MAS was the most active with 92.15 million shares done, shedding 0.5 sen to 22.5 sen after rising three sen on Tuesday. Market is expecting the ailing national carrier to announce its restructuring plans soon.
Takaful was the top loser, down 58 sen to RM12.50 on profit taking.
Among the plantations, KL Kepong fell 16 sen to RM23.56 while PPB Group lost 10 sen to RM14.38 and United Plantations eight sen lower to RM28.900.
Time dot Com fell 13 sen to RM4.49 with 100 shares done while Petronas Dagangan continued to lose ground, falling 10 sen to RM19.48.
Did you find this article insightful?