At 5pm, the KLCI was up 3.03 points or 0.19% to 1,601.35. Turnover was relatively lacklustre at 1.60 billion shares valued at RM1.28bil. There were 330 gainers, 481 losers and 327 counters unchanged.
Reuters reported most Southeast Asian stock markets closed higher with Indonesia rising to a two-week high amid easing political worries, but investors remained attentive to developments in the US-China tariff war.
With no leads from Wall Street due to a public holiday, trading volumes across the six markets were below their 30-day averages as investors awaited any new trade-related commentary, it reported.
Singapore's STI rose 0.03%, Thailand's SET up 0.59% and Jakarta Composite gaining 0.69%.
Crude palm oil rose RM9 to RM2,022 per tonne in view of stronger soyabean oil prices. Sime Plantation rose 18 sen to RM4.71 and pushed the index uip 2.16 points, PPB Group 10 sen to RM18.56, KL Kepong gained four sen to RM24.22 but IOI Corp slipped four sen to RM4.22.
Among the banks, Public Bank added 26 sen to RM22.78 and gave the KLCI a 1.76 point boost. LPI rose 34 sen to RM15.36. CIMB rose three sen to RM5.18, RHB Bank five sen to RM5.70, HL Bank six sen to RM19.26 while Maybank was flat at RM8.99 and AmBank slipped six sen to RM4.27.
Axiata and Digi, which are merging their South Asian and Malaysian operations, rose nine sen each to RM4.54 and RM4.69.
Genting Malaysia and Genting added two sen each to RM3.11 and RM6.30. Sime Darby was flat at RM2.20.
Brent oil was trading below US$69 a barrel, as concern over the trade dispute and global economic outlook offset support from Middle East tensions and supply cuts. US crude lost 25 cents to US$58.38.
Petronas Chemical fell 16 sen to RM8.59 and shaved off 2.3 points from the KLCI, Petronas Gas lost 12 sen to RM16.26 but Petronas Dagangan added two sen to RM24.60 while Dialog shed one sen to RM3.30.
Consumer stocks were among the top gainers, Ajinomoto up 40 sen to RM17.80, F&N 28 sen to RM33.88, F&N 28 sen to RM33.88 and Nestle 20 sen to RM146.30.
Bumi Armada rose one sen to 19.5 sen with 103.7 million shares. Its first quarter net profit rose by 28.5% to RM62.21mil in the first quarter ended March 31, 2019 due to lower cost of sales, administrative expenses and lower finance costs.
Hengyuan was the top loser, down 30 sen to RM5.48 and Petron 14 sen lower at RM6.38.
The ringgit firmed up against the US$ by 0.04% to 4.1862, but slipped 0.03% to the pound sterling to 5.3191, edged up 0.03% vs the euro to 4.6858 and slipped 0.1% to the Singapore dollar to 3.0460.
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