Bursa closes on firmer note, boost from Maxis, IHH

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia closed Thursday on a firm note with fund buying seen again in Maxis, IHH and Petronas Chemical while trading volume continued to increase and the ringgit extended its gains against the US dollar.

At 5pm, the KLCI was up 11.05 points or 0.66% to 1,678.88. Turnover rose to 3.45 billion shares valued at RM2.66bil, reflecting the lower quality buying interest. The broader market was mixed with 435 gainers, 435 losers and 361 counters unchanged.

Key Asian markets were mixed. Hong Kong shares rose for the fifth straight day, as a cautious US Federal Reserve and a firmer yuan lifted market sentiment.

The Hang Seng index was up 0.2% and the Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 0.4%. China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed down 0.4% while the blue-chip CSI300 index ended down 0.2%, Reuters reported. 

Maxis rose 18 sen to RM5.64 and powered the KLCI up 2.47 points, Axiata gained seven sen to RM4 but Digi shed two sen to RM4.43.

IHH gained 15 sen to RM5.75 and gave the index a 2.31 point lift while Tenaga added 29 sen ti RM13.68 and MISC adbvanced 20 sen to RM6.43. Sime Darby fell four sen to RM2.36.

Oil prices fell by more than 1% on swelling US supply and amid caution after talks between the United States and China finished without any concrete details on a resolution to their trade disputes., Reuters reported. US light crude oil fell 75 cents to US$51.61 and Brent was down 86 cents to US$60.58.

Petronas Chemical rebounded from the previous day's selloff after a rating downgrade. It rose 15 sen to RM8.70 and lifted the KLCI 2.11 points, Petronas Gas jumped 48 sen to RM17.98 but Petronas Dagangan lost four sen to RM25.86. Dialog lost five sen to RM2.80.

Crude palm oil for third month delivery fell RM19 to RM2,163 per tonne. On worrioes over higher palm oil stocks.

Despite the pullback, plantations continued to fare well with KL Kepong up 36 sen to RM23.96, Genting Plantation 25 sen to RM9.82, IOI Corp eight sen to RM4.49 and Sime Plantation two sen higher at RM5.05. However, PPB Group shed four sen to RM17.24.

Among the banks, Public Bank rose 12 sen to RM24.80, RHB Bank just one sen to RM5.34, AmBank and CIMB were flat at RM4.48 and RM5.65 whhile Hong Leong Bank lost six sen to RM20..64 and Maybank shged two sen to RMRM9.45.

Top Glove extended its losing streak, down 10 sen to RM4.70 and knocking off 0.45 of a point from the KLCI while Hartalega shed one sen to RM4.99 and Supermax lost 11 sen to RM1.53.

Nestle was the top gainer, up RM1 to RM144.70, Dutch Lady 68 sen to RM61 and BAT advanced 48 sen to RM36.36. Heineken lost 12 sen to RM19.84.

The ringgit continued to climb against the US dollar, up 0.37% to 4.0990 and advanced 0.58% to the pound sterling to 5.2216 and eked out a 0.08% gain to the Singapore unit at 3.0293 but fell 0.15% to the euro at 4.7223.