KUALA LUMPUR: The local market picked up on Wednesday morning as stocks rebounded from lows following a late selloff in the previous session.
While Bursa Malaysia continued to stabilise following the flurry of post-election trading activity, the mood turned sour in Asian markets as Pyongyang cancelled talks with Seoul to throw doubt over the US-North Korean Summit even as rising US Treasury yields reignite inflation fears.
Some counters on the local market continued to see overwhelming downwards pressure. Before the start of the morning session, MyEG and George Kent shares were frozen by Bursa Malaysia at RM1.27 and RM1.94 respectively in light of the counters hitting the bottom limit over the past two trading sessions.
At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was up 6.06 points to 1.854.26. Turnover was 1.72 billion shares with a value of RM1.15bil. There were 431 decliners to 399 gainers and 325 counters unchanged.
Climbing on the index, Public Bank put on 18 sen to RM24.18 while IHH Healthcare moved up 11 sen to RM6.11. Nestle also put on RM1.50 to RM141.20.
Maxis lifted 13 sen to RM5.76, CIMB gained five sen to RM6.80, Sime Darby Plantation rose four sen to RM5.55 and Digi added three sen to RM4.70.
On the wider market, BAT put in another strong performance, rising RM3 to RM31.50, on the back of rating upgrades by several research houses. The counter has gained about 38% since May 8, the last day of trading before the general elections.
rose 60 sen to RM13.90, MAHB added 39 sen to RM8.99 and Dutch Lady
put on 78 sen to RM67.78.
Among decliners, Magna Prima slipped 13 sen to RM1.02,Berjaya Media
dropped 11.5 sen to 16.5 sen and HSS ENgineering fell 11.5 sen to 97.5 sen.
Oil prices fell on Wednesday amid signs that supplies remain plentiful despite Opec cuts and looming US sanctions against Iran. WTI crude dropped 24 cents to US$71.07 a barrel while Brent crude fell 20 cents to US$78.23 a barrel.
The ringgit resumed its slide against the greenback, weakening 0.21% to 3.9645 as US 10-year yields hit a high of 3.095% overnight. However, the local currency firmed up against other major currencies, rising slightly against the pound sterling to 5.3535 and a quarter percent against the Singapore dollar to 2.9518.