Tenaga, HL Bank lift KLCI, ringgit at 5 to euro

KUALA LUMPUR: Tenaga Nasional and Hong Leong Bank lifted the FBM KLCI out of the red at midday on Monday while the ringgit slumped against the key currencies despite the firmer economic outlook for Malaysia in the second half.

At 12.30pm, the KLCI was up 0.57 point or 0.03% to 1,759.73. Turnover was 905.49 million shares valued at RM555.13mil. There were 226 gainers, 368 losers and 445 counters unchanged.

Southeast Asian stock markets were sluggish in low-volume trade on Monday, in line with Asian peers as US political uncertainties dampened hopes for quick passage of President Donald Trump's stimulus and tax reform agendas, weighing on investors' risk appetite, Reuters reported. 

The Trump administration, already dogged by investigations into alleged Russian meddling in the US election, took a fresh hit on Friday after White House spokesman Sean Spicer resigned, highlighting an upheaval within the president's inner circle, the wire reported. 

The ringgit weakened against the key currencies, down 0.01% to the US dollar at 4.2842 and slipped 0.14% to the pound sterling at 5.5759 and lost 0.2% to the Singapore dollar at 3.1461. It fell 0.18% to the euro at 5.0014.

Malaysia's economy is poised to expand in the second half of 2017 based on the positive leading index (LI) and coincident index (CI) for May, says the Statistics Department.

Among the consumer stocks, Nestle rose 52 sen to RM83.80 and BAT added 42 sen to RM44.58.

Tenaga rose 10 sen to RM14.22 and added 0.93 of a point to the KLCI, Genting Malaysia added four sen to RM6.02 but Genting Bhd lost five sen to RM9.51, IHH  Healthcare shed two sen to RM5.99. MISC lost three sen to RM7.37.

Hong Leong Bank rose 12 sen to RM15.80 and added 0.43 of a point to the KLCI. AmBank rose three sen to RM5.05, CIMB and Public Bank were flat at RM6.35 and RM20.36 while Maybank shed one sen to RM9.65 and RHB Bank shed two sen to RM5.06.

Insurer LPI lost eight sen to RM18.05.

Crude palm oil for third-month delivery fell RM26 to RM2,547 per tonne on worries about higher production outlook. 

HCK Capital was the top gainer, up 62 sen to RM5.99, Turbo 11.5 sen to 93.5 sen while IWCity gained two sen to RM1.50.

CCB fell 14 sen to RM2.24 after its earnings halved. Tien Wah was down 10 sen to RM1.73 and Latitude Tree nine sen lower to RM5.43 and Mesiniaga eight sen to RM1.31. 

Genting Plantations fell 12 sen to RM18.70, PPB Group eight sen lower at RM16.72, IOI Corp and KL Kepong were flat at RM4.48 and RM24.74 while Sime Darby was up two sen to RM9.56. TAHPS added 20 sen to RM7.60.

US light crude oil rose 10 cents to US$45.87 and Brent gained 13 cents to US$48.19. Petronas Gas lost 12 sen to RM18.70 and Petronas Chemicals four sen lower at RM6.93 while Petronas Daganagan shed two sen to RM23.70.

Among the key regional markets,

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.86% to 19,927.85;

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.46% to 26,829.07;

CSI 300 added 0.27% to 3,738.78;

Shanghai’s Composite Index rose 0.18% to 3,243.77;

Hang Seng China Enterprise gained 0.29% to 10,818.55;

Taiwan’s Taiex shed 0.09% to 10,427.29;

South Korea’s Kospi shed 0.14% to 2,446.56 and

Singapore’s Straits Times Index fell 0.2% to 3,307.42.

Spot gold fell 20 cents to US$1,254.78.

Markets , Forex , Economy