KLCI ekes out slight gains at close, Public Bank slips

KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips ended Wednesday on a lacklustre note after the recent bout of foreign selling as the MSCI change in weightage for Malaysia took effect while the ringgit slipped among the major currencies.

Axiata, Petronas Gas and Maybank were among the bigger movers on the FBM KLCI but holding back the advance were Public Bank, Hong Leong Bank, IHH Healthcare and Genting Bhd which came under profit taking.

At 5pm, the KLCI was up 0.5 of a point or just 0.03% to 1,626,50. Turnover was 1.35 billion shares valued at RM1.66bil. There 323 gainers, 455 losers and 351 counters unchanged.

The ringgit firmed up against the pound sterling but weakened against the US dollar, Singapore unit and euro. 

At 5pm, it was at 5.9980 to the pound from 6.0299 the previous day but slipped to 4.1480 against the greenback from 4.1287 and fell below the three ringgit level against the Singapore dollar at 3.0092 from 2.9919. It weakened against the euro to 4.6273 gtom 4.5974.

US light crude oil fell 58 cents to US$48.52 and Brent fell 69 cents to US$49.20 – extending the decline for for a fourth day on concern recent gains were unsustainable, while shuttered Canadian operations started to reopen, Bloomberg reported.

Gulf OPEC countries are seeking coordinated action by the producer group to help stabilise oil markets, a senior OPEC source told Reuters. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries holds a regular meeting on Thursday

At Bursa Malaysia, Maybank rose seven sen to RM8.23 and added 1.15 points to the KLCI, CIMB edged up one sen to RM4.40 and AmBank was flat at RM4.31. Public Bank fell the most among the KLCI stocks, down 20 sen to RM18.92 and erasing 1.3 points. Hong Leong Bank lost six sen to RM13.30.

IHH Healthcare lost 10 sen to RM6.36 and wiped out 1.38 points, Genting Bhd ended down 13 sen to RM8.23 and MISC four sen to RM7.68 while Tenaga lost two sen to RM13.96.

As for telcos,  Axiata rose 11 sen to RM5.33, and it was the bigggest mover of the KLCI stocks by shoring up the index by 1.63 points, Telekom fell four sen to RM6.69, Digi and Maxis were flat at RM4.48 and RM5.50.

Among the oil and gas related stocks, Bumi Armada was the most active, up 1.5 sen to 66.5 sen after the sell-off. Petronas Gas added four sen to RM21.68, Petrnas Dagangan 10 sen to RM23.54 and Petronas Chemicals flat at 

As for consumer stocks, BAT rose 52 sen to RM50.58, Ajinomoto 32 sen to RM12.52 and Heneiken added 12 sen to RM14.98.

Crude palm oil for third-month delivery fell RM14 to RM2,606 per tonne. Among the plantations, Kluang lost 20 sen to RM3.06, Batu Kawan and BLD Plantations 18 sen each to RM17.92 and RM8.52 while IJM Plantations lost 16 sen to RM3.32. 

However, among the bigger capitalised plantations, PPB Group fell eight sen to RM16.24, KL Kepong was flat at RM23.04, IOI Corp rose one sen to RM4.15 and Sime Darby advanced 11 sen to RM7.52.

Reinsurer MNRB fell 21 sen to RM2.82 with 306,400 shares done after reporting a dismal set of results.

Among the key regional markets,

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.62% to 16,955.73;

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.26% to 20,760.98;

CSI 300 fell 0.28% to 3,160.55;

Shanghai’s Composite Index lost 0.11% to 2,913.52;

Shenzhen Composite was up 0.76% to 1,886.51;

Hang Seng China Enterprise edged up 0.04% to 8,708.29;

Taiwan’s Taiex gained 0.72% to 8,597.16;

South Korea’s Kospi shed 0.03% to 1,982.72 and

Singapore’s Straits Times Index

Spot gold rose 74 cents to US$1,216.06.

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