At 5pm on Friday, the FBM KLCI was up 14.26 points or 0.87% to 1,650.76 – the highest since March 25. Turnover was moderate at 2.23 billion shares valued at RM2.56bil. There were 395 gainers, 464 losers and 383 counters unchanged.
At Bursa, consumer stocks topped the list, Heinken jumped RM1.08 to RM24.52 and it was the top gainer while following closely was Dutch Lady, adding RM1 to RM64.50 while BAT added 72 sen to RM30 but Nestle lost 30 sen to RM147 and Ajinomoto 14 sen to RM17.44.
Tenaga rose 30 sen to RM12.70 and gave the KLCI a 2.98 point boost, IHH and Sime Darby added two sen each to RM5.50 and RM2.32 while Genting was up three sen to RM6.39 and GentingM one sen to RM3.14.
Despite the slide in oil prices, Petronas Chemicals rose eight sen to RM8.32, Petronas Dagangan 44 sen to RM25.76 and Petronas Gas 10 sen to RM17.66 while Dialog added two sen to RM3.32.
US light crude oil fell US$1.18 to US$55.47 and Brent tumbled US$1.80 to US$65.07.
Brent futures are heading for a 10%t slide in May and US oil for a 13%, their biggest monthly losses since last November, Reuters reported.
Petronas Chemical recovered slightly to end the day up eight sen to RM8.32, Petronas Daganagan fared better with a gain of 44 sen to RM25.76 and Petronas Gas 10 sen to RM17.66 while Dialog eked out a two sen gain to RM3.32.
Crude palm oil fell RM7 to RM2,077 per tonne. Sime Plantation's 10 sen gain to RM4.66 added 1.2 points. It posted net profit of RM74mil in the first quarter ended March 31, 2019 due to a one-off net gain and weaker crude palm oil (CPO) and palm kernel (PK) prices.
KL Kepong jumped 48 sen to RM24.80, IOI Corp nine sen to RM4.31 but PPB Group shed two sen to RM18.78.
Digi advanced 21 sen to RM4.97 and added 2.17 points to the KLCI, Axiata four sen higher at RM4.69 while Maxis shed four sen to RM5.54.
Interest in Digi and Axiata had been underpinned by the planned merger of Telenor's Asia assets with Axiata's Celcom.
The star among the telcos was Telekom which jumped for the second day after its strong earnings. Howwver, the sock is not part of the KLCI. Telekom rose 15 sen to RM3.61, adding on to the 74 sen gains the previous day.
Among the banks, Hong Leong built on its gains from the previous day, rising 28 sen to RM19. CIMB was up six sen to RM5.27, RHB Bank nine sen to RM5.83, Maybank one sen to RM9.02 while Public Bank was flat at RM23.60 and Ambank gave up some recent gains, shedding five sen to RM4.43.
The ringgit firmed up against the US dollar, rising 0.06% to 4.1895.
On the external front, Hong Kong stocks ended at a four-month low, capping their worst month since October 2018, as a collapse in trade talks between Beijing and Washington dented investor confidence and triggered economic slowdown fears, Reuters reported.
The Hang Seng index ended down 0.8% at 26,901.09 points, piercing through the 27,000-point level seen by some as providing technical support. The China Enterprises Index lost 0.6% to 10,387.17 points. For the month, Hang Seng tumbled 9.4% and HSCE slumped 10%.
Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.63% on the day, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 0.79% and Shanghai Composite 0.24% lower whle Singapore's STI lost 0.91%. Taiwan's Taiex added 1.11% and South Korea's Kospi 0.14%.
European stocks tumbled and sovereign bonds surged as investors feared President Donald Trump's shock threat of tariffs on Mexico risked tipping the US into recession while disappointing China data added to the woes, Reuters reported.
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