The volatile crude oil prices weighed on oil and gas stocks but the ringgit was firmer against the key currencies.
Southeast Asian stocks closed up on Thursday, in line with their Asian counterparts, tracking an overnight rally in global oil prices, and on expectations of a rate cut from the Bank of England that would provide further growth stimulus, Reuters said.
At 5pm, the KLCI was up 6.79 points or 0.41% to 1,655.29. Turnover was 2.05 billion shares valued at RM1.53bil. There were 460 gainers, 326 losers and 358 counters unchanged.
Stock market data showed foreign funds were net buyers at RM117.69mil while local institutions were net sellers at RM102.77mil and retail investors also net sellers at RM14.92mil.
The ringgit rose against the US dollar to 4.0518 from 4.0570 while it advanced against the pound sterling to 5.3846 from 5.4115 and it edged up against the Singapore dollar to 3.0141 from 3.0211. When compared with Euro, it was at 4.5096 from 4.5387.
As for finance and bank stocks, HLFG rose 32 sen to RM15.26 while RHB Bank added 16 sen to RM4.96, Maybank and Ambank seven sen each to RM7.93 and RM4.40, CIMB four sen to RM4.40 and Public Bank two sen to RM19.60 but Hong Leong Bank fell eight sen to RM13.06.
DRB-Hicom rose seven sen to RM1.09 while its call warrants also advanced with C19 up 3.5 sen to 14.5c, C21 3.5 sen higher at 13.5 sen and C20 one sen up to five sen in very active trade.
Interest in the diversified group arose after its shareholders meeting last week where it announced plans to shift more towards logistics and reduce its dependence on property and auto. On Wednesday it announced it was selling its Singapore property which would enable it to reduce its gearing.
Profit taking saw F&N falling 84 sen to RM25.26 while poultry company Lay Hong surged 85 sen to RM9.50, BAT rose 70 sen to RM50.20.
Crude palm oil for third month delivery jumped RM35 to RM2,450 per tonne, the highest since mid-June.
Among the plantations, heavyweight Sime Darby rose seven sen ro RM7.58. PPB Group added eight sen to RM15.96, KL Kepong advanced four sen to RM23.14 but IOI Corp lost one sen to RM4.23.
Genting rose 10 sen to RM8.20, power giant Tenaga added four sen to RM14.40 while MISC was flat at RM7.50.
US light crude oil fell 16 cents to US$40.67 and Brent fell 34 cents to US$42.76. As for oil stocks, Petronas Chemicals rose two sen to RM6.56 but Petronas Dagangan fell six sen to RM23.28 and Petronas Gas slipped eight sen to RM22. SK Petro edged up one sen to RM1.41.
Among the key regional markets,
Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 1.07% to 16,254.89;
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added 0.43% to 21,832.23;
CSI 300 rose 0.24% to 3,201.29;
Shanghai’s Composite Index added 0.13% to 2,982.43;
Shenzhen Composite gained 0.73% to 1,948.91;
Hang Seng China Enterprise added 0.29% to 9,004.62;
Taiwan’s Taiex gained 0.26% 9,024.71;
South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.26% to 2,000.03 and
Singapore’s Straits Times Index gained 0.15% to 2,831.96.
Spot gold fell US$6.96 to US$1,351.22.
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