Maxis' stronger Q1 results lift KLCI

KUALA LUMPUR: Maxis' stronger first quarter results gave the FBM KLCI a boost on Friday but the broader market showed some caution and trading volume shrank to below three billion shares.

At 5pm, the KLCI was up 2.70 points or 0.17% to 1,638.38. Turnover was 2.85 billion shares valued at RM2.06bil. There were 384 gainers, 495 losers and 359 counters unchanged.

Key Asian markets were mixed as Japan's Nikei 225 fell 0.22%, Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.2%, Taiwan's Taiex 0.79% and South Korea's Kospi 0.51% lower but Singapore's STI managed to end 0.2% higher.

Hong Kong stocks inched higher, but posted their biggest weekly drop in eight weeks, as investors feared that China may scale back its stimulus measures amid signs of economic stabilisation, while the Sino-US trade conflict also weighed on sentiment, Reuters reported.

At Bursa, Maxis rose 10 sen to RM5.44 and pushed the KLCI up 1.36 points. Its Q1 FY19 net profit rose 54% to RM409mil from RM266mil in the preceding quarter.  When compared with a year ago, net profit  fell by 21.8% from RM523mil. Digi rose four sen to RM4.55 and Axiata edged up one sen to RM3.99.

F&N was the top gainer, up 62 sen to RM34.74 while Nestle gained 50 sen to RM147. BAT was the top loser, sliding RM1.04 to RM35.58 while Heineken lost 22 sen to RM24.08.

Takaful advanced 28 sen to RM6 after posting a strong set of results.

AirAsia rose 12 sen to RM2.68 after announcing it carried 12.54 million passengers in the first quarter ended March 31, up 18% from 10.65 million passengers in the same period last year. Its capacity rose 17% to 14.26 million from 12.2 million in the same period a year ago.  

G3 continued its winning streak, up 23 sen to RM1.62. It had inked memorandums of understanding (MoU) with China's SenseTime Group Ltd and China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd (CHEC) in relation to their collaboration on setting up an AI park in Malaysia.

Unisem’s Q1 FY19 core net profit missed CIMB Equities Research/consensus expectations at 5% of FY19F forecast due to lower-than-expected utilisation and changes in the sales mix.  However, it shares managed to chalk up a 10 sen gain to end at RM2.60.

Among the banks, RHB Bank was the top performer, up 11 sen to RM5.91. CIMB Equities Research is retaining RHB Bank as an Add and top pick for the sector due to its attractive valuations and ongoing transformation programme. 

Public Bank rose four sen to RM22.64, Maybank one sen to RM9.14, CIMB was flat at RM5.19, AmBank shed one sen to RM4.44 and Hong Leong Bank four sen lower at RM19.96.

IHH rose six sen to RM5.61 and gave the KLCI a 0.91 of a point boost, MISC added five sen to RM6.85, MAHB ended seven sen higher at RM7.49, GentingM was flat at RM3.22 while Genting shed five sen to RM7. Sime Darby shed two sen to RM2.34.

US light crude oil tumbled US$1.26 to US$63.95 whiule Brent lost US$1.56 to US$72.79.

Among the oil and gas stocks, Dialog fell four sen to RM3.26, Petronas Dagangan and Petronas Gas lost two sen each to RM24.18 and RM17.52 but Petronas Chemical gained five sen to RM9.10.

Crude palm oil for third month delivery fell RM35 to RM2,122 per tonne.

As for plantations, Sime Plantation rose three sen to RM5.12, KL Kepong added 10 sen to RM24.80. PPB Group four sen to RM18.78 while IOI Corp shed one sen to RM4.50.

The ringgit rose 0.12% against the US dollar to 4.1318 and edged up 0.08% to the euro at 4.6049. However, the local unit fell 0.13% against the pound sterling to 5.3351 and shed 0.07% to the Singapore unit at 3.0332.