KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips snapped their recent losing streak on Thursday but it was not the best performance investors hoped for due to some late selling of selected stocks.
At 5pm, the FBM KLCI was up 7.88 points or 0.49% to 1,602.47. The intra-day high was 1.605.53.
Turnover was 2.04 billion shares valued at RM1.75bil. There were 382 gainers, 401 losers and 430 counters unchanged.
Reuters reported share markets flatlined as uncertainty over the outlook for US interest rate cuts following the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's last policy meeting kept investors on edge.
China yuan's slump to an 11-year low also sapped their appetite for risk, with dealers saying state-owned banks were seen selling dollars to support the yuan.
The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 47 countries, was down 0.1%. In Europe, the Euro STOXX 600 fell 0.1% in choppy trade, following a 0.5% drop in MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan, Reuters said.
At Bursa, consumer stocks continued to lead the gainers list as they were seen as safe bets. Nestle rose 60 sen to RM149, Heineken 58 sen to RM24.46, F&N 28 sen to RM35.32 and Carlsberg 18 sen to RM24.82 but BAT fell 32 sen to RM21.70.
AmBank was the top gainer among the banks after its strong first quarter results, adding 24 sen to RM4.14 and 1.27 points to the KLCI. RHB Banks nine sen to RM5.52, Maybank three sen to RM8.56 while Public Bank and Hong Leong Bank gained six sen each to RM20.80 and RM17 but CIMB dipped one sen to RM5.06.
Maxis added 10 sen to RM5.56 and push the KLCI up 1.37 points while Axiata and Digi advanced two sen each to RM4.98 and RM5. Telekom lost 12 sen to RM3.97.
Crude palm oil rose RM49 to RM2,257 per tonne, the highest since Feb 22. IOI Corp rose seven sen to RM4.32, Sime Plantation one sen to RM4.72 while PPB Group and KL Kepong were flat at RM18.80 and RM23.62.
Genting Malaysia fell two sen to RM3.08. UOB Kay Hian Malaysia Research upgraded Genting Malaysia to Hold as its share price has fallen close to its target price.
It said on Thursday the unpopular related party transaction of acquiring loss-making US-listed Empire Resorts is likely to perpetuate a long-term ESG valuation discount on the stock.
Genting also fell two sen to RM5.96, Tenaga was flat at RM13.66 while Sime edged up one sen to RM2.10.
As for oil and gas stocks, Petronas Gas gained 14 sen to RM15.96, Petronas Chemical added five sen to RM7.20, Dialog two sen to RM3.49 but Petronas Dagangan lost four sen to RM23.12.