AirAsia climbs in active trade amid firmer market

KUALA LUMPUR: Low-cost carrier AirAsia was in focus on Monday, emerging as the most active counter and chalking up gains of 6.25% amid a firmer broader market and news about its loss-making affiliate AirAsia X.

Medium-haul AirAsia X climbed in active trade after StarBiz reported that at least two foreign airlines were looking to take up a stake.

At the close, the FBM KLCI was down 2.6 points or 0.15% to 1,724.13 in volatile trade which saw the index opening stronger but surrendering the early gains. 

Turnover on Bursa Malaysia was 1.52 billion shares valued at RM1.55bil. There were 452 gainers to 319 losers and 321 counters unchanged.

Key Asian markets were mixed. Hong Kong stocks ended Monday mixed, as investors awaited fresh direction from mainland markets after they seemed to stabilise, Reuters reported.

European shares edged higher at the open on Monday, lifted by a surge in Dutch firm OCI as it confirmed that it was in merger talks. The STOXX Europe 600 rose 0.4%, hitting a new six-week high, according to the wire report.

At Bursa Malaysia, AirAsia rose eight sen to RM1.36 while AirAsia X gained two sen to 20.5 sen.

Hard-disk drive manufacturer JCY International rose 5.5 sen to 74.5 sen in active trade after recent upbeat news as positive outlook from analysts.

On a more downbeat note, Cocoaland fell 15.4% or 37 sen to RM2.03 after Hong Kong-listed First Pacific Co Ltd withdrew its plan to buy the snacks and candy manufacturer.

Weighing down the KLCI was MISC, which fell 14 sen to RM7.90 and erased 1.08 points from the KLCI. Astro lost nine sen to to Rm2.95 and wiped out 0.81 of a point.

Power giant Tenaga Nasional was down eight sen to RM12.28 and this saw 0.78 of a point erased as investors were cautious about its plans to buy the power assets Edra from 1MDB.

Among the banks and finance stocks, HLFG lost 36 sen to RM15.46, RHB Cap 12 sen to RM7.49, AmBank five sen to RM5.83, Maybank was flat at RM9.20. However, Hong Leong Bank rose 14 sen to RM13.58, Public Bank gained four sen to RTM19.02 and CIMB two sen to RM5.50. 

Infrastructure-property stock fell 20 sen to RM7.

US light crude oil rose 14 cents to US$51.03 and Brent was flat at US$57.

Petronas Gas rose 12 sen to RM21.46, Petronas Chemicals two sen to RM6.42, SKPetro one sen to  RM2.38 but Petronas Dagangan lost two sen to RM20.62.

Crude palm oil for third-month delivery fell RM12 to RM2,179 per tonne. United Plantations rose 88 sen to RM27.46, PPB Group was flat at RM15.04, KL Kepong lost 10 sen to RM22.90.

As for telcos, Maxis rose two sen to RM6.53, Axiata and Telekom flat at RM6.37 and RM6.69 while DiGi shed three sen to RM5.38.

The ringgit weakened against the US dollar to 3.8077 from the previous close of 3.7968.

Among the key regional markets:

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.04% to 25,404.81;

CSI 300 rose 0.22% to 4,160.61;

Shanghai’s Composite Index rose 0.88% to 3,992.11;

Shenzen Composite rose 1.82% to 2,230.29;

Hang Seng China Enterprise fell 0.64% to 11,773.92;

Taiwan’s Taiex fell 0.78% to 8,975.00;

South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.17% to 2,073.31 and

Singapore’s Straits Times Index rose 0.57% to 3,372.40.

Spot gold fell US$18.59 to US$1,115.55.

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