KUALA LUMPUR: Some solid gains by MISC, Tenaga Nasional and Petronas-linked stocks helped prevent the FBM KLCI from closing off the lows on Wednesday amid selling of banks.
At 5pm, the KLCI was down 1.02 points or 0.06% to 1,589.82 – the lowest again since September 2015.
Turnover was 1.94 billion shares valued at RM1.54bil. Decliners led advancers more than five to three or 517 losers to 305 gainers while 378 counters were unchanged.
Consumer stocks, which had rallied on their strong earnings, came under some profit taking. Nestle fell RM1.60 to RM147, F&N RM1.06 to RM34.72, Dutch Lady 80 sen to RM63.19 and Carlsberg 26 sen to RM25.66.
Most banks ended lower with CIMB seven sen to RM4.98, Maybank two sen to RM8.53, Public Bank and RHB Bank down four sen each to RM20.32 and RM5.68. However, AmBank bucked the eend to climb 11 sen to RM4.09.
Hong Leong Bank lost 22 sen to RM16.26. Its net profit rose by 1% to RM2.66bil in the financial year ended June 30,2019 from RM2.63bil a year ago amid a challenging year and proposed a final dividend of 34 sen a share.
Telekom rose 13 sen to RM4.08 after its Q2 net profit rose by 12% to RM114.18mil from RM101.93mil a year ago as lower operating costs offset a decline in revenue and impairment losses.
Time dotCom's surprising positive results saw its share price rising 21 sen to RM9.11.
Digi added three sen to RM5.03 but Axiata shed two sen to RM5 and Maxis six sen to RM5.41.
Petronas linked stocks rallied with Petronas Dagangan added 22 sen to RM21.84, Petronas Gas 28 sen to RM15.64 and Petronas Chemical two sen higher at RM6.90 while Dialog was flat at RM3.47.
US light crude oil rose 83 cents to US$55.76 and Brent gained 69 cents to US$60.20.
MISC rose the most among the KLCI stocks, up 24 sen to RM7.20 and added 1.9 points, Tenaga gained 14 sen to RM13.74 and nudged the index up 1.4 points while Sime Darby added nine sen to RM2.20.
Opcom rallied 18.5 sen to 63.5 sen in very active trade on expectations of securing major contracts.
Crude palm oil for third month delivery rose RM18 to RM2,257 per tonne. Sime Plantation added five sen to RM2.20, PPB Group added six sen to RM18.80, KL Kepong fell four sen toRM23.48 and IOI Corp three sen to RM4.22.
Sterling dived on Wednesday as concerns rose that the United Kingdom may be headed for a disruptive no-deal Brexit after Prime Minister Boris Johnson moved to restrict parliamentary time before Oct. 31, Reuters reported. The pound fell 0.36% against the ringgit to 5.1366.
The ringgit weakened 0.2% to the US dollar to 4.2135 and slipped 0.14% to the Singapore dollar at 3.0326. However, it edged up 0.08% to the euro at 4.6715.
As for key Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.11%, Taiwan's TAIEX added 0.45%, South Korea's Kospi 0.86% but Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 0.19% and Singapore's STI 0.36% lower.