Maybank, CIMB lift KLCI at midday, Scientex top gainer

KUALA LUMPUR: Maybank and CIMB provided the much-needed boost to the FBM KLCI at the midday break on Thursday while Scientex advanced as investors were positive on its takeover of competitor Daibochi .

At 12.30pm, the KLCI was up 5.14 points or 0.3% to 1,693.55. Turnover was 993 million shares valued at RM771.54mil. There were 398 gainers, 260 losers and 327 counters unchanged.

Key Asian markets were mostly higher led by China and Hong Kong but Japan and South Korea fell. 

Shares in China rebounded after Beijing delivered a written response to U.S. trade demands, lifting hopes for a resumption of negotiations, and as property firms gained after data showed new home prices rose in October, Reuters reported. 

The ringgit eked out some gains against the US dollar, up 0.17% to 4.1885.

At Bursa, Maybank rose nine sen to RM9.38 and added 1.58 points to the KLCI while CIMB gained nine sen to RM5.59 and nudged the index up 1.37 points.

HLFG added 14 sen to RM19.04, Hong Leong Bank rose two sen to RM20.52 while Public Bank was flat at RM24.52 and RHB Bank shed one sen to RM5.19. 

Scientex was the top gainer, up 33 sen to RM9 but Daibochi fell 30 sen to RM1.69 – near the takeover offer price of RM1.60.

Crude oil prices fell despite Opec's move to reduce supplies. US light crude oil fell 26 cents to US$55.99 and Brent was down 23 cents to US$65.89.

Petronas Gas gained 10 sen to RM18.76, Petronas Dagangan was flat at RM26.80 and Petronas  Chemical shed one sen to RM9.39. Dialog rebounded seven sen to RM3.21.

As for semiconductor-related stocks, Pentamaster added 14 sen to RM3.49, MI 14 sen to RM2.49 but security services company Suremetric lost 3.5 sen to 45.5 sen on profit taking after the stellar debut earlier this week.

Consumer stocks fell with F&N down 70 sen to RM32.90, Carlsberg 16 sen to RM19.12, MSM and Nestle 10 sen lower at RM2.80 and RM144.90.

Crude palm oil for third month delivery inched up RM2 to RM1,975 per tonne after a hitting a more than three year low. KL Kepong lost six sen to RM24.86, Sime Plantation fell  three sen to RM5.22, IOI Corp and PPB Group were unchanged at RM4.38 and RM17.

Among the heavyweights, Tenaga lost 12 sen to RM14.78 and erased 1.08 points, Genting Malaysia and Genting Bhd were flat at RM3.62 to RM6.78 while Sime Darby inched up one sen to RM2.39.

As for telcos, Telekom rose eight sen to RM2.44, Maxis five sen to RM5.40, Axiata added one sen to RM3.45, Digi was unchanged at RM4.29.

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