KUALA LUMPUR: Some fund buying of telcos, Tenaga Nasional and banks enabled the FBM KLCI to close higher on Thursday, tacking the firmer key Asian markets except for China.
At 5pm, the KLCI was up 6.54 points or 0.38% to 1,721.42. Turnover was 2.28 billion shares valued at RM2.29bil. There were 475 gainers, 357 losers and 361 counters unchanged.
Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings, while applauding the government's greater transparent Budget 2019, cautioned about the still higher fiscal deficit.
Meanwhile, global stock markets extended a rally built in the wake of midterm elections as strong corporate results gave an additional boost to European equities. The uptick may be short lived however, as futures pointed to a softer open in the US, Bloomberg reported.
At Bursa, Maxis rose 11 sen to RM5.51 and pushed the KLCI up 1.53 points while Digi's six sen gain nudged the indexc up 0.83 of a point, Axiata was up two sen to RM3.62 and Telekom flat at RM2.37.
Tenaga gained 12 sen to RM14.94, the highest since Oct 10. MISC added seven sen to RM6.97, Press Metal four sen to RM4.99 while Genting Bhd
added two sen to RM6.76. Genting Malaysia fell four sen to RM3.60 and MAHB two sen lower at RM8.14.
Petronas Dagangan added 26 sen to RM28 while Petronas Gas and Petronas Chemical were flat at RM18.70 and RM9.70 while Dialog inched up one sen to RM3.40.
Crude palm oil for third month delivery fell RM20 to RM2,091, the lowest since Sept 8, 2015 on worries about rising palm oil output.
Sime Darby and Sime Plantation were unchanged at RM2.50 and RM5.20, IOI Corp flat at RM4.59, KL Kepong gained two sen to RM24.90 while PPB Group advanced six sen up to a fresh record high of RM17.28.
Among consumer stocks, BAT jumped RM1.58 to RM47.80, Ajinomoto added 50 sen to RM20, DLady gained 44 sen to RM63.96 but Carlsberg fell 30 sen to RM19.40 and F&N was down 18 sen to RM34.78 and Nestle lost 10 sen to RM143.90.
Chip maker MPI climbed 30 sen to RM10.80 and after market close, it reported net profit for the first quarter ended Sept 30 had risen by 16.6% to RM42.28m from RM36.24mil a year ago. Revenue was up 6.7% to RM413.75mil. It declared an interim dividend of 10 sen a share. Vitrox fell 18 sen to RM7.64.
Nextgreen Global, which has inked an MoU with Japan's IHI Corporation and Nomura Holdings Inc to undertake a green technology investment partnership, closed down eight sen to 54.5 sen. Its warrants were also eight sen lower at 24 sen.
The ringgit slipped 0.01% to 4.1640 against the US dollar but climbed 0.4% to the pound sterling at 5.4627, advanced 0.67% to the euro at 4.7542. It gained 0.3% against the Singapore dollar at 3.0350.