KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI returned to positive territory by midday, partially retracing losses seen in its previous session following a global retreat from equities on the back of US Fed hike fears.
At 12.30pm, the 30-stock index rose 3.22 points to 1.859.42 points. Turnover 1.84 billion shares worth RM1.06bil. THe market breadth was negative with decliners outpacing gainers 611 to 273 while 362 counters were unchanged.
Leading performers on the index included CIMB, which gained eight sen to RM7.27; Sime Darby Plantaton, which rose 13 sen to RM5.48; and Genting, which added 19 sen to RM9.04.
Nestle took the biggest tumble in the morning session, losing RM4.80 to RM123.30.
Most banks on the index weighed, with Maybank losing two sen to RM10.44, Public Bank sliding two sen to RM22.98 and Hong Leong Bank dropping 44 sen to to RM19.58.
In plantations, IOI added two sen to RM4.71, KL Kepong rose 24 sen to RM25.28 and PPB gained 22 sen to RM17.92.
Among the top gainers on the wider market, Panasonic rose RM1.30 to RM35, Dutch Lady
gained 36 sen to RM66.96 and Carlsberg put on 14 sen to RM18.62.
Leading decliners were UMW slipping 30 sen to RM6.20, British American Tobacco
dropping 26 sen to RM28.14 and Globetronics falling 20 sen to RM6.
Oil prices were little changed on Thursday following a two-day slide on the strength of the US dollar.
WTI crude rose seven cents to US$61.71 a barrel while Brent crude dipped five cents to US$64.98 a barrel.
On the forex market, the ringgit continued to weaken against the greenback, slipping 0.32% to 3.9295. It fell 0.13% against the Singapore dollar at 2.9645 and firmed up 0.85% against the pound sterling at 5.4029.