KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia snapped its recent losing streak on Thursday, in line with most key regional markets, on better-than-expected Chinese export data and firmer yuan.
At 5pm, the FBM KLCI was up 11.32 points or 0.71% to 1, 616.02, underpinned by gains in Sime Plantation, Axiata and Public Bank.
Turnover was 2.21 billion shares valued at RM1.51bil. Advancers beat decliners five to three or 508 gainers, 296 losers and 401 counters unchanged.
Reuters reported stock markets enjoyed a tentative recovery after better-than-expected Chinese export data and a steadying of the yuan restored some calm to global markets.
European markets followed Asia higher in early trade, helped by data showing Chinese exports rose 3.3% in July from a year earlier, beating an expected decline of 2%. Chinese imports fell by less than forecast, despite the US-China tariff struggle.
China moved on Monday to allow the yuan to weaken beyond 7 yuan per dollar, after US President Donald Trump said he would impose more tariffs on Chinese imports. That sent markets into a tailspin.
At 5.15pm, the yuan was trading at 7.0440 against the US dollar, off the intra-day low of 7.0536.
At Bursa, crude palm oil rallied RM30 to RM2, 134 per tonne tracking the firmer soybeans. This gave plantation stocks a much needed boost.
Sime Plantation rose 21 sen, the most in recent weeks on fund buying, to RM4.70 and push the KLCI up 2.53 points. PPB Group rose 20 sen to RM18.76, IOI Corp added nine sen to RM4.28 and KL Kepong eight sen to RM23.68.
Axiata rebounded 11 sen to RM5 and lifted the KLCI 1.76 points. Maxis added four sen to RM5.42 and Digi two sen to RM5.02.
Public Bank, which had come under fund selling in recent days, advanced 14 sen to RM21.42, RHB Bank and Hong Leong Bank added 12 sen each to RM5.58 and RM17.62, AmBank eight sen to RM4.12, Maybank two sen to RM8.62 and CIMB flat at RM5.06.
Other gainers were Press Metal, up 11 sen to RM4.81. Sime Darby two sen to RM2.16, while Tenaga, MISC and IHH were unchanged at RM13.84, RM7.21 and RM5.75.
Genting Malaysia and GENTING BHD, which were battered on Wednesday, managed to eke out some gains but not enough to recoup the losses. GentingM rose five sen to RM3.23 and Genting three sen to RM6.21.
Crude oil prices rebounded, with US light crude up US$1.37 to US$52.46 while Brent climbed US$1.19 to US$57.42.
Among the oil and gas stocks, Petronas Dagangan chalked up gains of 26 sen to RM23.38. Petronas Gas added four sen to RM15.98, Petronas Chemical one sen to RM7.30 and Dialog two sen to RM3.41.
Consumer stocks climbed, with F&N up 36 sen to RM34.86, Nestle 30 sen to RM148.30, Carlsberg 16 sen to RM24 and BAT 14 sen toRM22.50.
The ringgit rose 0.12% against the US dollar to 4.1840 and added 0.06% to the Singapore unit at 3.0260.
Against the pound sterling it slipped 0.01% to 5.0861 and declined by 0.11% to the euro to 4.6913.