KLCI closes off day's best, volume shrinks ahead of long weekend


KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips ended Friday off their day's best while trading volume shrank ahead of the long weekend as the volatile US-China trade conflict continued to weigh on investor sentiment.

At 5pm, the FBM KLCI was up 6.17 points or 0.39% to 1,605.36. Its intra-day high was 1,607. Turnover and value declined to below the two billion mark, with volume of shares traded at 1.91 billion units and value shrank to just RM1.46bil.

The market will be closed on Monday for Wesak Day celebrations and resume trading on Tuesday.

On the external front, China's stock market closed lower, clocking the fourth consecutive weekly loss, largely due to re-escalating trade tensions as Washington blacklisted Chinese tech company Huawei, Reuters reported. 

The Shanghai Composite index fell 2.5%, losing 1.9% for the week. The blue-chip CSI300 index also lost 2.5% and taking the weekly losses to 2.2%.

Underpinning the KLCI's gains were Public Bank, Maybank, telcos and Dialog while Petronas Chemical and Tenaga slumped.

Public Bank rose 16 sen to RM22.42 and pushed the KLCI up 1.08 points, Maybank added four sen to RM9, AmBank and HL Bank two sen each to RM4.35 and RM5.74 while RHB Bank edged one sen higher to RM5.74.

Maxis perked up six sen to RM5.36 and Axiata four sen to RM4.44 while Digi was flat at RM4.65.

Oil edged higher towards US$73 a barrel, supported by real and threatened supply disruptions in the Middle East and heading for a weekly gain, Reuters reported.

Dialog ended eight sen higher at RM3.30, Petronas Dagangan unchanged at RM24.52, Petronas Gas two sen lower at RM16.62 while Petronas Chemical lost four sen to RM8.80.

Among the consumer stocks, BAT rose 92 sen to RM34.10, Carlsberg 62 sen to RM24.86, F&N 30 sen to RM33.50 and Nestle 20 sen to RM145.50.  However, Ajinomoto lost 12 sen to RM17.40.

Other index linked stocks including MAHB climbed 14 sen to RM7.23, Press Metal five sen to RM4.30, Genting five sen to RM6.50 and GentingM two sen to RM3.14. Tenaga fell six sen to RM11.58 and shaved off 0.6 of a point.

Among the poultry stocks, Teo Seng fell nine sen to RM1.17 while Leong Hup closed below its offer price of RM1.10, falling three sen to RM1.07.

Crude palm oil was unchanged at RM2,096 per tonne. Sime Plantation managed to recoup a small part of the recent losses, up four sen to RM4.68 while KL Kepong also saw a four sen rise to RM24.16, IOI Corp one sen to RM4.21 while PPB Group was flat at RM18.56.

The ringgit weakened against the US dollar but firmed up against the other key currencies. It fell 0.31% to the greenback to 4.1775. It rose 0.12% to the pound sterling at 5.3391; added 0.11% to the euro to 4.6673 and gained 0.23% to the Singapore dollar to 3.0364.

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