KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips extended their gains for the second day early Friday, thanks to the positive key Asian bourses, with plantations and Petronas Dagangan shoring up the FBM KLCI but profit taking could set in later.
At 9.17am, the KLCI was up 3.94 points or 0.23% to 1,682.82. Turnover was 422.24 million shares valued at RM120.67mil. There were 238 gainers, 87 losers and 179 counters unchanged.
Asian stocks inched higher to one-month highs, after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated the US central bank can be patient on raising interest rates further, Reuters reported.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged 0.2 higher, while Japan's benchmark Nikkei advanced 1.1% in early trade.
US oil prices edged down on Friday as concerns over economic growth were rekindled after talks fell short of offering concrete steps to end the Sino-US trade conflict, although Opec-led production cuts bolstered sentiment in crude market, it reported.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures slipped 23 cents, or 0.4%, from their last settlement to US$52.36 per barrel by 0016 GMT.
On the outlook for the KLCI, Kenanga Research continues to believe that the local index is likely to trade with a downside bias supported by still thin trading volume and weaknesses seen in momentum indicators.
“Continuous negative momentum will see it trend closer to its support level at 1,615 (S1) with a break below, will then see the index capitulate towards 1,600 (S2). Should the index be able to close above the 1,700 (R1) level, outlook will then be bullish with next resistance found at 1,750 (R2),” it said.
Nestle was the top gainer, up RM1.10 to RM145.80 with 800 shares done while BAT added 58 sen to RM36.94.
Among the chip-related stocks, MPI added 18 sen to RM10.20 and KESM 13 sen to RM8.73. Pentamaster shed five sen to RM2.75.
As for plantations, KL Kepong and PPB Group added 12 sen each to RM24.08 and RM17.36. FGV rose five sen to 83. 5 sen in active trade while Matang gained 0.5 sen to 7.5 sen.
Petronas Dagangan was up 12 sen to RM25.98 and MISC nine sen to RM6.52.
MAHB fell the most, down 17 sen to RM8.03 with 206,700 shares done.