KUALA LUMPUR: AME Elite Consortium Bhd hogged the limelight during its trading debut on the Main Market on Monday while the positive key Asian markets also galvanised investors sentiment towards equities.
Sime Plantation, Maybank and IHH Healthcare gave the FBM KLCI the much needed boost while Hong Leong Bank and Petronas-linked stocks climbed on fund buying.
At 5pm, the FBM KLCI was up 10.75 points or 0.69% to 1,567.59 but year-to-date it is down 7.28%, still the worst performing market in Asia.
Turnover in terms of shares traded improved to 2.99 billion shares valued at RM1.84bil. There were 487 gainers, 367 losers and 407 counters unchanged.
Asian markets advanced as United States and China signalled progress in their trade negotiations, which lifted investor sentiment and prompted a hunt for risk assets, according to reports.
China's Shanghai Composite Index was up 1.15%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index gained 0.81%, South Korea's Kospi 1.11% and Singapore's STI added 0.31%.
Meanwhile, Michael Taylor, the managing director, credit strategy & standards Asia Pacific of Moody's Investors Service said the US-China potential deal represents a temporary de-escalation in tensions and the delay in tariff increase removes an immediate risk to growth in both the US and Asia.
“However, a limited agreement will not resolve the underlying areas of disagreement between the two sides as long-term divergence in US and China national interest remains across trade, technology, investment and geopolitics.
“We expect further rounds of negotiation to remain challenging, with further potential for financial markets volatility, ” he said in a statement.
At Bursa, AME ended the day 25 sen higher at RM1.55 with 49.75 million shares done.
Maybank rose nine sen to RM8.53 and nudged the KLCI up 1.58 points, Hong Leong Bank 28 sen to RM16.50, Public Bank eight sen to RM19.16, RHB Bank seven sen to RM5.69, CIMB added six sen to RM4.92 but AmBank shed one sen to RM3.84.
US light crude oil fell 50 cents to US$54.20 and Brent slipped 58 cents to US$59.93. Petronas Gas added 28 sen to RM16.68 and Petronas Dagangan 26 sen to RM23.30 and Petronas Chemicals five sen to RM7.28. Dialog inched up one sen to RM3.41.
Nestle was the top gainer, up 40 sen to RM144.30, BAT added 36 sen to RM17.60, F&N ended 24 sen higher at RM34.46 and Heineken 20 sen to RM24.40. Dutch Lady fell 12 sen to RM57.78.
Among the semicon-related stocks, Dufu gained 19 sen to RM3.03 but Vitrox fell 10 sen to RM7.90.
Crude palm oil for third month delivery fell RM33 to RM2,152 per tonne.
Sime Darby Plantation rallied 18 sen to RM4.80 and lifted the KLCI by 1.94 points. KL Kepong inched up two sen to RM21.42, PPB Group gained four sen to RM17.94.
IOI Corp shed one sen to RM4.20 while Genting Plantations, which fell 18 sen to RM9.84, was the top loser of the day.
IHH Healthcare rose 12 sen to RM5.77 and added 1.64 points to the KLCI. MISC added 12 sen to RM8.40, Genting four sen to RM5.65, Sime Darby two sen to RM2.28 but Tenaga Nasional fell eight sen to RM13.80 and erased 0.71 of a point.
The US dollar and pound sterling rallied against the ringgit. The ringgit fell 0.01% against the greenback to 4.1870 and weakened 0.63% against the pound to 5.2655.