Strong start for Bursa as US-China trade talks positive

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia jumped early Thursday, underpinned by FBM KLCI stocks as optimism returned following reports of positive US-China trade talks but whether the market can hold on to its gains remains to be seen.

At 9.13am, the KLCI was up 13.36 points or 0.8% to 1,681.19. Turnover was 393.12 million shares valued at RM154.79mil. There were 267 gainers, 73 losers and 181 counters unchanged.

China's commerce ministry said trade talks with the US this week were extensive, deep and detailed, and established a foundation for the resolution of each others' concerns, Reuters reported. The two sides agreed to continue to maintain close contact, the ministry said in a statement on its website.

Palm oil futures rose to an over two-month high on Wednesday evening, charting a second straight day of gains, as traders forecast declining production in the coming months and improving export data.

KL Kepong rose 34 sen to RM23.94 and Genting Plantations added 15 sen to RM9.72.

Nestle was the top gainer, up RM2.40 to RM145.10 while BAT added 28 sen to RM36.16.

MISC rose 22 sen to RM6.45, Tenaga 16 sen to RM13.82, Petronas Dagangan 14 sen to RM26.04 while Hartalega staged a relief rebound to advance 13 sen to RM5.13.

Penny oil and gas stocks rose in active trade on firmer oil prices. Hibiscus gained three sen to 98.5 sen, Bumi Armada and Velesto 1.5 sen each to 17 sen and 20 sen while Sapura Energy added one sen to 31 sen.

Hong Leong Bank fell the most, down 24 sen to RM20.46, MAHB 17 sen to RM7.99 and AirAsia four sen to RM2.96.

Markets , Plantations