KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips managed to shrug off the early losses to eke out mild gains on Tuesday, tracking the firmer Wall Street close while crude oil price climbed, pushing Petronas-linked stocks higher.
At 9.44am, the KLCI was up 0.52 of a point or 0.03% to 1,879.28. The previous day it jumped 10 points on late fund buying where foreign institutions were net buyers at RM111mil.
Turnover was 568.97 million shares valued at RM260.58mil. There were 307 gainers, 176 losers and 271 counters unchanged.
Asia stocks edged higher on Tuesday, tracking Wall Street gains as the focus shifted to corporate earnings and looming economic data from China amid signs Western-led strikes on Syria weren't likely to escalate, Reuters reported.
The overall technical picture for Bursa Malaysia has been improving over the past two trading days and there is a possibility the KLCI could test the previous high of around 1,880, Kenanga Research said.
Brent crude oil futures were at US$71.80 per barrel at 0120 GMT, up 38 cents, or 0.5 percent, from their last close. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 39 cents, or 0.6% at US$66.61 a barrel.
Petronas Dagangan added 32 sen to RM26.40. CIMB Equities Research has upgraded Petronas Dagangan (PetDag) from Hold to Add and raised its dividend discount model-based target price to RM29.23.
Petronas Gas gained 18 sen to RM18.18 while Press Metal added 16 sen to Rm4.99 and Bursa Malaysia 14 sen higher to RM7.39.
Muhibbah Engineering gained 14 sen to RM3.10 in rising volume while Kossan
added 11 sen to RM7.79 and Aeon Credit
gained 10 sen to RM13.08.
Nestle was the top loser, down 30 sen to RM148.80, SP Setia fell 15 sen to RM3.05, MPI nine sen to RM8.60 while Wellcall and Hartalega lost six sen each to RM1.33 and RM6.52.