KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips eked out slight gains towards the close of trade on Monday, boosted by some late fund buying of selected stocks including CIMB and Maybank but the advance was held back by selling pressure on Genting Malaysia.
At 5pm, the KLCI was up just 0.32 point or 0.02% to 1,769.49. Turnover was 1.78 billion shares valued at RM1.65bil. The broader market was weaker with decliners beating advancers two to one or 557 losers to 278 gainers while 369 counters were unchanged.
Retail investors were net buyers on Monday at RM13.12mil and foreign funds at just RM7.11mil but local institutions were net sellersat -R Meanwhile, China's major stock indexes rose to 20-month highs on Monday, spurred by financial shares and a spate of forecast-beating earnings reports from state industrial giants, Reuters reported.
Sentiment was also bolstered by signs that China is stepping up efforts to restructure its lumbering and often inefficient state-owned enterprises (SOEs) by opening the door to more public and private investment in the long-protected sector.
Japanese stocks ended flat in thin trade on Monday, as investors assessed the impact of a weaker dollar following the Jackson hole central bank conference and casualty insurers fell on worries about the impact of Tropical Storm Harvey, Reuters added.
The ringgit rose against the US dollar but weakened against the other currencies especially the euro.
Ir rose 0.11% to 4.2677 against the US dollar but slipped 0.59% against the pound sterling to 5.5024 and weakened 0.27% to the Singapore dollar at 3.1492. It tumbled 1.02% to the euro at 5.0915.
At Bursa, CIMB rose six sen to RM6.78 and added 0.92 of a point to the KLCI after announcing its second quarter results.
CIMB's earnings rose 26.3% to RM1.10bil from RM872.82mil a year ago on the back on firmer revenue and it declared a higher interim dividend of 13 sen or a payout of RM1.18bil.
Maybank added four sen to RM9.60, Ambank and Public Bank were flat at RM4.43 and RM20.58 while Hong Leong Bank lost six sen to RM15.40 amd RHB Bank four sen lower at RM5.05.
Westports rallied 14 sen to RM3.75 and nudged the KLCI up 0.81 of a point after announcing it was expected to invest up to RM10bil to double its container-handling capacity and the company will tap the bond market to partly finance this plan.
Crude palm oil for third month delivery fell RM18 to RM2,732 per tonne. However, plantations were among the top gainers with small capitalised stocks among the top gainers.
Kluang added 25 sen to RM3.55 with 89,600 shares done, Sungai Bagan gained 17 sen to RM3.25, Sawarak Oil Palm 14 sen to RM3.73, PPB Group was flat at RM16.70, KL Kepong and IOI Corp shed two sen each to RM24.42 and RM4.53 and Sime Darby extended its decline, down four sen to RM9.09.
Genting Malaysia extended its decline for the second trading day after it was downgraded by UOB Kay Hian Malaysia Research to Sell from Hold as its second quarter earnings disappointed. Last Friday, it fell 23 sen to RM5.82 and on Monday, it lost 19 sen to RM5.63 and wiped out 1.92 points.
US light crude oil fell 50 cents to US$47.37 and Brent was down four cents to US$52.37.
Refiners were also the top losers, with Hengyuan down RM1.09 to RM7.03 and Petron 69 sen to RM8.29, the biggest decline in recent days.
Lotte Chemical Titan fell 29 sen to RM5.09 but its peer Petronas Chemical added one sen to RM7.19.
Other oil and gas related stocks which fell were small cap Enra, down 22 sen to RM2.68, Petronas Gas lost eight sen to RM18.64 and Petronas Dagangan four sen down to RM24.10.
However, Dialog rose several year highs of RM2.08 as analysts were positive on its outlook. IT ended the day four sen higher at RM2.03.
Among the key regional markets,
Japan’s Nikkei 225 shed 0.01% to 19,449.90;
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.05% to 27,863.29;
CSI 300 jumped 1.24% to 3,842.71;
Shanghai’s Composite Index added 0.93% to 3,362.65;
Hang Seng China Enterprise gained 0.48% to 11,342.07;
Taiwan’s Taiex gained 0.1% to 10,525.98;
South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.35% to 2,370.30 and
Singapore’s Straits Times Index gained 0.25% to 3,267.62.
Spot gold rose US$5.88 to US$1,297.08.
Meanwhile, China's major stock indexes rose to 20-month highs on Monday, spurred by financial shares and a spate of forecast-beating earnings reports from state industrial giants, Reuters reported.
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