Late buying enables KLCI to stretch gains amid cautious market (Update)

KUALA LUMPUR: Profit taking after three days of gains pushed the FBM KLCI into the red for most of Friday before late buying of several index stocks saw it closing slightly higher amid a cautious broader market.

At 5pm, the KLCI was up just 0.36 of a point or 0.02% to 1,734.24. Turnover was 1.45 billion shares valued at RM1.39bil. Declining stocks beat advancers 459 to 295 while 298 counters were unchanged.

The stock market was shored by up local institutions, especially after Fitch Ratings’ surprise announcement to upgrade the outlook of Malaysia’s sovereign to stable from negative. However, foreign funds and retail investors were taking profit. 

The ringgit weakened against the US dollar to 3.7795 from the previous close of 3.7752.

On the external front, Hong Kong stocks fell on Friday, with sentiment soured by slumping shares in China and the Greek debt crisis, Reuters reported. 

In Europe, the market was hit by concern over mounting tensions between Greece and its international creditors since the government in Athens announced a surprise referendum over its bailout programme.

US light crude oil fell 33 cents to US$56.60 and Brent 35 cents lower at US$61.72.

At Bursa Malaysia, Petronas Dagangan added 24 sen to RM20.80, Petronas Gas fell 10 sen to RM21.50 while Petronas Chemicals and SKPetro were flat at RM6.41 and RM2.47.

Crude palm oil for third-month delivery rose RM2 to Rm2.267 per tonne. Among the plantations, KL Kepong rose 14 sen to RM22.44, IOI Corp one sen higher at RM4.23, PPB Group fell four sen to RM15.20.

As for power giant, Tenaga Nasional, it added two sen to RM12.68. Genting Bhd rose seven sen to RM8.28 and UMW six sen to RM10.36 but Westports and MISC shed three sen each to RM4.27 and RM8.09.

Among the telcos, DiGi rose five sen to RM5.53, TM two sen to RM6.85, Maxis one sen to RM6.38 but Axiata shed one sen to RM6.45.

Among the banks and finance stocks, HLFG fell the most, down 28 sen to RM15.40, CIMB was down six sen toRM5.48, HL Bank lost eight sen to RM13.60, RHB Cap two sen lower at RM7.59.

Maybank eased one sen to RM9.28, Public Bank was flat at RM18.88. AmBank edged up two sen to RM6.01.

Among the key regional markets,

Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.08% to 20,539.79;

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.83% to 26,064.11;

Shanghai’s Composite Index skidded 5.77% to 3,686.92;

Taiwan’s Taiex fell 0.22% to 9,358.23;

South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.14% to 2,104.41 and

Singapore’s Straits Times Index ros e0.45% to 3,342.73.

Spot gold rose US$2.55 to US$1,168.81.

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