KUALA LUMPUR: IHH Healthcare, Maxis and CIMB underpinned the FBM KLCI’s gains on Wednesday while oil and gas-related stocks advanced on gains by crude oil prices.
At 12.30pm, the KLCI was up 3.32 points or 0.18% to 1,842.93. Turnover was 1.50 billion shares valued at RM1.032bil. There were 436 gainers, 271 losers and 330 counters unchanged.
However, despite the positive outlook, the ringgit weakened against the US dollar past the 3.70 level. It was quoted at 3.7203 against the greenback compared with the previous close of 3.7005.
Reuters reported Asian markets stumbled as relief China had matched its own growth target was soured by poor readings on consumer demand and industrial activity, underlining the need for more policy action by Beijing.
Growth in China's colossal economy did slow to a six-year low of 7% in the first quarter, but that was better than many feared after a woeful trade performance in March.
US crude oil rose 33 cents to US$53.62 and Brent added 56 cents to US$58.99. Oil advanced for a fifth day as Iran joined Libya in calling for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to reduce production, Bloomberg reported.
At Bursa Malaysia, SKPetro rose 17 sen to RM2.57 – the biggest gains in recent weeks – to RM2.57. Bumi Armada
added six sen to RM1.12 after bagging a RM1bil contract, KNM and Perisai gained 2.5 sen each to 66 sen and 56 sen while Sumatec
added 0.5 sen to 22.5 sen.
Petronas Chemicals rose three sen to RM5.73 and Petronas Gas two sen to RM22.98 but Petronas Dagangan lost two sen to RM20.88.
Among the KLCI stocks, IHH added eight sen to RM5.70 and nudged the KLCI up 1.13 points. As for telcos, Maxis added five sen to RM7.20, Axiata one sen to RM7.03 but DiGi fell six sen to RM6.24 and TM four sen lower at RM7.46.
Public Bank gained six sen to RM19.04, CIMB five sen to RM6.24 but Maybank shed one sen to RM9.37 and Hong Leong Bank six sen lower at RM14.26 while HLFG lost 18 sen to RM16.94.
CMSB climbed 16 sen to RM4.97 as it secured more contracts in Sarawak.
IFCA MSC jumped 16 sen to RM1.56 and its warrants 15 sen to RM1.43.
Crude palm oil for third month delivery staged a recovery to add RM16 to RM2,169. FGV added three sen to RM2.12 while KL Kepong and PPB Group were flat at RM22.70 and RM15.80 while IOI Corp shed one sen to RM4.58.