At 5pm, the KLCI was up 9.47 points or 0.54% to 1,754.42 on window-dressing for the end of the first quarter. The KLCI is up 6.86% year-to-date.Turnover on Bursa Malaysia was 3.07 billion shares valued at RM2.42bil. Advancers led decliners 513 to 366 while 389 counters were unchanged.
Most Asian stocks advanced on Tuesday after Wall Street stabilised and the dollar was steady except Japan and China were in the red. Reuters said anxiety over Donald Trump's setback on healthcare reform gave way to tentative hopes for the US president's planned stimulus policies.
The ringgit weakened against the key currencies again. It slipped 0.06% against the US dollar to 4.4160 from the previous close of 4.415. Year-to-date the ringgit is up 1.56% against the greenback.
However, the ringgit fell 0.36% against the Pound sterling to 5.5611 from 5.5412; it slipped 0.12% versus the Singapore dollar to 3.1676 from 3.1639. It lost 0.18% against the Euro to 4.7964 from 4.7879.US light crude oil jumped 41 cents to US$48.14 and Brent gained 40 cents to US$51.15 as Reuters attributed the gains due to a weakened dollar, supply disruption in Libya and the latest comments from officials suggesting OPEC could extend its deal cutting global production.
Late buying pushed Petronas Dagangan up RM1.06 to RM24.84 and added 1.79 points to the KLCI, Petronas Gas rose 24 sen to RM19.96 and Petronas Chemicals two sen higher at RM7.60. Petron gained 50 sen to RM6.27.
Genting Bhd gained 25 sen to RM9.75 and added 1.59 points to the KLCI while Genting Malaysia was up 10 sen to RM5.75. Tenaga gained four sen to RM13.74 and Westports 14 sen to RM4.08.
Among the financial-related stocks and banks, HLFG rose 40 sen to RM16.50, Hong Leong Bank gained 20 sen to RM13.66, RHB Bank 16 sen to RM5.30, AmBank added 12 sen to RM4.85, CIMB six sen higher at RM5.56, Maybank three sen to RM9 and Public Bank was flat at RM19.92.
Bursa Malaysia added 24 sen to RM9.90 as it gains from the surge in trading volume on the stock exchange especially in March.
Crude palm oil for third-month delivery rose RM27 to RM2,722 per tonne. TAHP added 25 sen to RM6.85, KL Kepong gained eight sen to RM24.78, PPB Group four sen higher at RM16.70 while IOI Corp inched up one sen to RM4.71. However, United Plantations fell 58 sen to RM28.
Heavyweight Sime Darby fell six sen to RM9.39 and it erased 0.69 of a point from the KLCI.
Burn-in chip tester KESM rebounded from Monday's decline to add 30 sen to RM11.76.
Maybulk rose seven sen to 83.5 sen in active trade. Hong Leong Investment Bank (HLIB) Research pointed out that the Baltic Dry Index has been trending higher. Bloomberg data showed the index surged from 702 on Feb 10 to 1,282 on Monday due to an increase in iron ore and coal imports by China.
Among the key regional markets,
Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 1.14% to 19,202.87;
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.63% to 24,345.87;
CSI 300 lost 0.24% to 3,469.81;
Shanghai’s Composite Index lost 0.43% to 3,252.95;
Hang Seng China Enterprise gained 0.62% to RM10,425/89;
Taiwan’s Taiex was flat at 9,876.45;
South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.35% to 2,163.31 and
Singapore’s Straits Times Index gained 0.99% to 3,157.82.
Spot gold fell US$1.18 to US$1,253.68.
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