KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips started Thursday on a firmer footing with the FBM KLCI staging a rebound, underpinned by plantations and Petronas Dagangan, in line with the positive key Asian markets.
At 9.10am, the KLCI was up 8.14 points or 0.49% to 1,681.22. Turnover was 158.57 million shares valued at RM76.35mil. There were 208 gainers, 70 losers and 148 counters unchanged.
Asian shares crept higher as upbeat bank earnings bolstered Wall Street, while an anti-climactic end to the latest chapter in the Brexit saga gave sterling a moment's peace, Reuters reported.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged up 0.1%, with Australia and South Korea's KOSPI ahead by 0.2% each. Japan's Nikkei climbed 0.3%.
Meanwhile, US oil prices inched down, with traders worried about the strength of demand in the United States after gasoline stockpiles there grew last week by far more than analysts had expected. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 11 cents to US$52.20 per barrel.
At Bursa, Nestle was the top gainer, up 50 sen to RM147.80 with 400 shares done while Carlsberg added 18 sen to RM19.90 and BAT 10 sen to RM37.50. However, F&N fell eight sen to RM33.48 with 700 shares done.
KL Kepong rose 34 sen to RM24.54 and PPB Group 16 sen to RM17.60 while Genting Plantations added 13 sen to RM9.93. FGV rose two sen in active trade to 96.5 sen as investors drew confidence from its proposed turnaround plans.
Petronas Dagangan gained 28 sen to RM25.08, TimeCom 16 sen to RM8.42 and HL Industries 14 sen to RM9.04.
My EG was the most active with 16.92 million shares done, up four sen to RM1.12. Bumi Armada
eked out a 0.5 sen gain to 16 sen.
QL Resources lost five sen to RM6.75, HSSEB three sen to RM1 and Boustead two sen to RM1.52.