KUALA LUMPUR: Fund buying of Petronas-linked stocks and Tenaga Nasional helped power the FBM KLCI out from the red at the close on Friday but the overall market sentiment was still mixed ahead of the weekend.
Petronas stocks climbed despite weaker crude oil prices but plantations were given a boost as crude palm oil for third month delivery soared past the key RM2,700 level.
At 5pm, the KLCI was up 4.65 points or 0.29% to 1,596.84. Turnover was 2.56 billion shares valued at nearly RM2bil. There were 398 gainers, 423 losers and 412 counters unchanged.
Asia stocks were mixed amid muted volumes, as investors awaited further details of the US-China trade discussions. Treasuries held Thursday’s losses, Bloomberg reported.
Japanese shares steadied after three days of declines, though volumes were below average. Stocks climbed in Australia and Hong Kong, and slipped in China, it reported.
China wants to work out an initial trade pact with the United States and has been trying to avoid a trade war, President Xi Jinping said on Friday, but is not afraid to retaliate when necessary, Reuters reported.
US light crude oil fell 22 cents to US$58.36 while Brent shed seven cents to US$63.90.
At Bursa, Petronas Chemicals rose 10 sen to RM7.11 and added 1.41 points to the KLCI. Petronas Dagangan was the top gainer, up 52 sen to RM24.10 and Petronas Gas 26 sen to RM16.40. Both stocks added 0.9 of a point to the KLCI. Dialog was unchanged at RM3.43.
Tenaga Nasional rose 10 sen to RM RM23.58 and added one point. The power giant is considering setting up a RM10bil (US$2.4bil) Islamic bond programme as it braces for electricity sector reforms, Bloomberg reported.
As for telcos, Axiata climbed six sen to RM4.36, Maxis three sen to RM5.31 while Digi was flat at RM4.60.
CPO for third month rallied RM74 to RM2,739 per tonne, crossing the two-year peaks and giving plantations a boost.
Among the KLCI stocks -- Sime Plantation rose three sen to RM5.14, KL Kepong 10 sen to RM23.80, PPB Group two sen to RM18.26 while IOI Corp flat at RM4.49. Sarawak Oil Palms added 26sen to RM3.1, Hap Seng Plantations 13 sen to RM1.81, Kwantas 12 sen to 88 sen and Far East 10 sen to RM2.60.
Among the banks, Hong Leong Bank lost 10 sen to RM16.74, CIMB one sen to RM5.327 while Maybank, AmBank and RHB Bank were unchanged at RM8.64, RM4.06 and RM5.70 respectively, Public Bank rebounded four sen to RM19.86.
MAHB added eight sen to RM8.29, Genting was flat at RM6.05, GentingM shed one sen to RM3.21 while IHH lost one sen to RM5.44 and MISC two sen to RM8.31.
BAT rose 46 sen to RM16.70 but Nestle fell 80 sen to RM144.80 and Carlsberg lost 28 sen to RM28.02.
The ringgit fell 0.03% against the US dollar to 4.1710 but strengthened 0.2% against the pound sterling to 5.3847, gained 0.3% against the euro to 4.6159 and inched up 0.02% to the Singapore dollar to 3.0614.
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