KUALA LUMPUR: Late fund buying of Public Bank and a recovery in Tenaga Nasional enabled the FBM KLCI to close higher on Wednesday ahead of the signing of phase one of the US-China trade deal.
At 5pm, the KLCI was up 4.54 points or 0.29% to 1,585.14. Turnover was 2.54 billion shares valued at RM1.67bil. There were 339 gainers, 471 losers and 423 counters unchanged.
What made investors concerned was after the US warned that tariffs on Chinese goods will remain in place, according to wire reports, which dampened investor appetite for equities.
The Hang Seng index lost 0.4%, the Hang Seng China Enterprises index fell 0.5%, Japan's Nikkei 225 lost 0.45% and Shanghai Composite 0.54% while Singapore's STI was 0.41% lower.
At Bursa, Public Bank rose 42 sen to RM19.56 and added 2.87 points to the KLCI. According to Bloomberg's consensus ratings, seven research house or 31.8% have a Buy, nine a Hold and six a Sell.
RHB Research has a Neutral recommendation with a target price of RM21.10 while Bernstein has a Market Perform and TP of RM19.20 while Nomura a Buy and TP of RM24.20 and DBS Bank a Hold amd TP of RM21.05.
AmBank rose six sen to RM3.91, HL Bank two sen to RM16.86. CIMB was flat at RM5.18, RHB Bank shed one sen to RM5.81 and Maybank five sen lower at RM8.60.
Tenaga pared all its losses to end flat at RM12.90 after hitting an early low of RM12.72. Of the Bloomberg consensus rating, there are 16 buys or 69.6% and the remaining seven hold. The target prices ranged from RM13.50 to RM15.50.
As for telcos, Maxis gained 12 sen to RM5.62 and added 1.65 points to the KLCI but Axiata shed one sen to RM4.16 and Digi lost four sen to RM4.51.
Top Glove saw strong interest, rising 14 sen to RM4.80 while Hartalega added two sen to RM5.48.
MAHB ended up nine sen to RM7.09, Genting two sen to RM6.17, GentingM one sen to RM3.33, IHH shed two sen to RM5.55 while Sime Darby was unchanged at RM2.23.
US light crude oil fell 23 cents to US$58 and Brent lost 21 cents to US$64.28.
Among the oil stocks, Petronas Chemicals and Petronas Dagangan fell six sen each to RM7.03 and RM22.38, Petronas Gas unchanged at RM16.60 while Dialog was five sen lower at RM3.39.
Cement stocks attracted interest on investor hopes of construction growth as MCement rose 28 sen to RM3.28 and Tasek 19 sen to RM5.70.
As for semicon and IT related stocks, Vitrox was up 47 sen to RM8.90 and MPI advanced 16 sen to RM12.76.
Crude palm oil (CPO) for third month delivery retreated RM42 to RM2,963 per tonne, falling below the key RM3,000 level.
FGV fell four sen to RM1.49 as it sought to appeal against the decision of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) to suspend its sustainability certification.
PPB Group ended six sen lower at RM18.62, KL Kepong 10 sen to RM24.58 and IOI Corp two sen down to RM4.68. Sime Plantation rebounded from an intra day low of RM5.23 to end unchanged at RM5.30.
The ringgit fell 0.06% against the US dollar to 4.0747; shed 0.41% versus the pound sterling to 5.3035; slipped 0.01% to the euro to 4.5344 and dipped 0.08% to the Singapore dollar at 3.0233.
Spot gold rose US$6.90 to US$1,553.29 per troy ounce.
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