KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips closed higher on Tuesday, lifted by solid gains in glove makers, a rebound in Tenaga Nasional and some banks as investor sentiment perked up.
At 5pm, the FBM KLCI was up 5.38 points or 0.33% to 1,627.44. Turnover was 3.73 billion shares valued at RM2.47bil. The broader market was mixed with 406 gainers, 443 losers and 412 counters unchanged.
The market and the ringgit took heart from the assurances by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng and also a statement by Bank Negara and the Securities Commission.
Lim gave his assurance that the government will service all debt obligations related to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB). He also said the government will monitor the ringgit's performance in the foreign exchange market following the recent fall in the currency's value.
Bank Negara and the SC said the Malaysian financial markets have remained resilient. “Conditions in the capital, forex and money markets continued to be orderly, supported by ample domestic liquidity, robust market infrastructures and firm macroeconomic fundamentals,” they added in a joint statement.
The ringgit climbed 0.09% against the US dollar to 4.1278, rose 0.17% versus the pound sterling to 5.3630 and was up 0.14% against the euro to 4.6441. It ended 0.2% higher versus the Singapore dollar at 3.0419.
Emerging market stocks dipped and Chinese shares were seen weakening further on concerns of Beijing trimming support to an economy whose recent performance has beaten expectations, Reuters reported.
Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.19%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index unchanged, China's Shanghai Composite fell 0.51% and Singapore's STI lost 0.13%.
Hartalega rose 34 sen to RM5.15 and pushed the KLCI up 1.97 points while the world's biggest glove maker, Top Glove climbed 21 sen to RM4.76 and nudged the index up nearly one point.
Tenaga advanced 12 sen to RM12.28, Press Metal 12 sen to RM4.65 while MAHB ended 29 sen up at RM7.40. Genting was up two sen to RM6.81 but GentingM shed two sen to RM5.04. Sime Darby she done sen to RM2.34.
US light crude oil rose 44 cents to US$65.99 and Brent added 34 cents to US$74.38 after the US decided to end all import waivers for Iran's oil.
Petronas Chemical rose five sen to RM8.95, Petronas Gas was flat at RM17.64 while Petronas Dagangan lost eight sen to RM24.14. Dialog gained two sen to RM3.20.
Nestle fell 60 sen to RM145.50 and was the top loser despite that it had reported a set of improved results in the first quarter ended March 31, 2019.
F&N fell 16 sen to RM34.40 but Dutch Lady ended 30 sen higher at RM64 and BAT gained 26 sen to RM36.52.
Among the banks, Public Bank rose six sen to RM22.60, Maybank and AmBank one sen higher at RM9.16 and RM4.46 while CIMB was flat at RM5.17. RHB Bank shed one sen to RM5.75 and HL Bank two sen lower at RM20.02.
Crude palm oi for third month delivery fell RM3 to RM2,169 per tonne.
As for plantations, KL Kepong lost eight sen to RM24.60, PPB Group and IOI Corp were down four sen each to RM18.66 and RM4.49 while Sime Plantation lost two sen to RM5.04
Maxis and Digi were down four sen each to RM5.34 and RM4.49 while Axiata eased one sen to RM3.87 on concerns about the outlook for the telco industry.
However, Ekovest snapped it rally to fall 10 sen to 87 sen and Ekovest-WB 11 sen lower at 37 sen while IWCity skidded 14 sen to RM1.19.
On Monday, the two listed firms controlled by Tan Sri Lim Kang Hoo, issued separate statements to Bursa to clarify that they were not involved in the revived Bandar Malaysia project.
Investors on Monday chased up counters linked to Lim on hopes that his companies would benefit from the revived Bandar Malaysia project.