KUALA LUMPUR: Petronas-linked stocks gave the FBM KLCI the much needed boost on Tuesday and nudged the FBM KLCI over the crucial 1,600 level but selling of Tenaga Nasional on the adverse impact from possible reforms held the gains in check.
At 5pm, the KLCI was up 3.05 points or 0.19% to 1,604.30. Turnover increased to 2.73 billion shares valued at RM2.18bil. The broader market was weaker as there were 510 decliners compared with 382 gainers and 377 counters unchanged.
Reuters reported China stocks fell after Beijing kept a key money market rate unchanged even as data pointed to downward pressure on the world's second-largest economy.
The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 1.7% to 3,891.22, while the Shanghai Composite Index also ended down 1.7% at 2,978.12, posting its worst day since July 8.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong stocks fell after credit rating agency Moody's downgraded the island city's outlook to negative from stable on Monday, reflecting what it called the rising risk of "an erosion in the strength of Hong Kong's institutions" amid ongoing protests.
The Hang Seng index fell 1.2%, to 26,790.24, while the China Enterprises Index lost 1.2%, to 10,502.37. Both indexes declined for a second straight session.
US light crude fell 62 cents to US$62.28 and Brent slid 38 cents to US$68.64 after the price surge following the drone attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil facilities.
At Bursa, Petronas Chemicals gained 36 sen to RM7.77 and added 5.09 points to the KLCI.
UOB Kay Hian Research said Petronas Chemicals and Lotte Chemical Titan were beneficiaries as chemical prices may experience upside volatility, given that Saudi’s disruption effect on the petrochemical space is more pronounced at up to 9% of total global capacity (vs 6% for crude oil production).
Petronas Gas added 18 sen to RM16.42 and Petronas Dagangan 12 sen to RM23.42. Dialog edged up one sen to RM3.50.
Tenaga fell 16 sen to RM13.62 and erased 1.6 points from the KLCI. Reports said the power giant might face long-term earnings risk related to electricity pricing and take-up rate based on the auction mechanism under the proposed reforms.
Maxis rose 10 sen to RM5.70, Digi added one sen to RM4.72 and Axiata was unchanged at RM4.27.
Crude palm oil for third month delivery rallied RM72 to RM2,293 per tonne. Among the plantations, Sime Plantation rose two sen to RM4.88, IOI Corp added one sen to RM4.42 but PPB Group shed four sen to RM18.52, KL Kepong 16 sen to RM23.58.
As for banks, Hong Leong Bank four sen higher at RM16.44, RHB Bank added three sen to RM5.68, Public Bank two sen to RM20.16, Maybank was flat at RM8.90, CIMB lost two sen to RM5 while AmBank ended seven sen lower at RM4.10.
Press Metal was unchanged at RM4.90. S&P Global Ratings has downgraded the smelter fom “BB-” to “B+” due to its continued high investments while its cash flow leverage to weaken over the next 12 to 18 months.
The ringgit weakened against the US dollar by 0.41% on-day to 4.1825. slipped 0.2% to the pound sterling to 5.1863 and shed 0.12% against the Singapore dollar to 3.0368. Howerver, it rose 0.01% against the euro to 4.6055.
Spot gold fell 15 cents to US$1,498.24 per troy ounce.