KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips managed to recoup their earlier losses on Monday, underpinned by gains in Petronas Gas, Tenaga Nasional and Genting Bhd
, enabling the FBM KLCI to close at the highest since March 25.
At 5pm, the KLCI was up 4.55 points or 0.28% to 1,655.31 and it is down 2.09% year-to-date, the only key Asian market in the red. Turnover was 1.60 billion shares valued at RM1.55bil.
However, decliners beat advancers 577 to 266 and 355 counters were unchanged, indicating the overall broader market was weaker.
Aiding market sentiment was the better-than-expected April export data. Exports grew by 1.1% year-on-year (y-o-y) in April to RM85.2bil on higher exports of electrical and electronic (E&E) goods, beating a Bloomberg survey that forecast exports had contracted 2.1%.
Trade jitters cast a gloomy spell over most key Asian markets with Japan's Nikkei 225 down 0.92%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index lost 0.03% and Shanghai Composite Index 0.3% but Taiwan's Taiex inched up 0.02%, South Korea's Kospi added 1.28% and Singapore's STI added 0.18%,
A recovery in crude oil prices aided Petronas Gas, Petronas Chemical though Petronas Dagangan came under some profit taking. US light crude oil rose 35 cents to US$53.85 and Brent added nine sen to US$62.08.
Petronas Gas rose 52 sen to RM18.18 and added 1.79 points from the KLCI, Petronas Chemical two sen higher at RM8.34 while Petronas Dagangan shed six sen to RM25.70 while Dialog eked out a one sen gain to RM3.33.
Tenaga climbed 16 sen to RM12.86 and added 1.58 points, Genting Bhd 21 sen to RM6.60 and nudged the index up 1.42 points. MAHB ended 36 sen higher at RM7.70 while Genting M edged up two sen to RM3.16 but Sime Darby shed two sen to RM2.30.
Crude palm oil for third month delivery fell RM30 to RM2,039. United Plantations gained 70 sen to RM26.60 with 900 shares done. IOI Corp was up six sen to RM4.37, Sime Plantation flat at RM4.66, PPB Group shed four sen to RM18.74.
Banks were mostly mixed with CIMB up two sen to RM5.29, AmBank added three sen to RM4.46, HLBank unchanged at RM19 but Public Bank and RHB Bank lost six sen each to RM23.54 and RM5.77 while Maybank eased three sen to RM8.99.
As for telcos, Digi dell the most, down nine sen to RM4.88 and Axiata one sen to RM4.68 while Maxis eked out a one sen gain to RM5.55.
Consumer stocks were mixed with Nestle up 40 sen to RM147.50 and Carlsberg 12 sen to RM24.50 but BAT gave up 30 sen to RM29.70 and Heineken 22 sen to RM24.30.
The ringgit firmed up against the US dollar but eased against the other currencies. It rose 0.2% to the US$ at 4.1815 but lost 0.02% to the pound at 5.2879 and lost 0.08% to the euro at 4.6756 and surrended 0.29% to the Singapore dollar at 3.0508.