KUALA LUMPUR: Public Bank's fresh record earnings saw investors piling into the stock and sent it to the highest ever on Friday, and following closely were Maybank and CIMB.
At 5pm, the FBM KLCI was up 6.43 points or 0.35% to 1,861.50 and year-to-date it is up 3.6%. Turnover was 3.55 billion shares valued at RM2.67bil. There were 560 gainers, 430 losers and 432 counters unchanged.
Foreign funds were net buyers at RM48.5mil followed by local retailers at RM1.5mil only while local institutions were net sellers at RM50mil.
The ringgit weakened against the key currencies, shedding 0.01% to the US$ to 3.9172 and fell 0.61% to the pound sterling at 5.477 while it lost 0.2% to the euro to 4.8228 and was down 0.1% to the Singapore dollar at 2.9623.
Public Bank contributed 3.6 points to the KLCI when it rose 52 sen to RM22.80 and gave it a market capitalisation of RM88.51bil.
Maybank gained six sen to RM10.26 and nudged the index up 1.16 points and CIMB added six sen to RM7.19 and nudged the index up nearly one point.
Investors are expecting a strong set of earnings from the banks for the FY17.
RHB Bank rose six sen to RM5.44, Hong Leong Bank was flat at RM18.22 and AmBank gave up up seven sen to RM4.51.
Crude palm oil for third month delivery rose RM38 to RM2,526 per tonne as the outlook pressure for Malaysia and Indonesia eased. However, the rebound did not help plantations much as FGV lost five sen to RM1.99 despite the strong FY17 earnings.
IOI Corp edged up one sen to RM4.79. Its earnings surge to RM595.90mil in the second quarter ended Dec 31, 2017 from the RM15.60mil a year ago, boosted by foreign currency translation gain.
KL Kepong retreated eight sen to RM25.50 while PPB Group was flat at RM17.68.
US light crude oil fell 28 cents to US$62.49 and Brent lost 37 cents to US$66.02. Petronas Gas slumped 28 sen to RM17.68, Petronas Chemicals was flat at RM8.11 while Petronas Dagangan added four sen to RM25.54.
Sime Darby added five sen to RM2.80, Sime Plantation rose two sen to RM5.52 and Sime Property fell six sen to RM1.37.
Among the heavyweights, Tenaga was flat at RM15.64, Genting Bhd shed one sen to RM9.10 and Genting Malaysia nine sen lower at RM5.28.
As for telcos, Maxis fell seven sen to RM6.01, Telekom lost five sen to RM6 and Axiata two sen lower at RM5.65 but Digi rose one sen to RM4.90.