KUALA LUMPUR: Overall market sentiment on Bursa Malaysia was steadier on Wednesday after the previous day's selloff due to the worsening coronavirus outbreak but the FBM KLCI's advance was held in check by Tenaga Nasional and IHH Healthcare.
At 5pm, the KLCI was down 1.17 points or 0.08% to 1,550.47. Turnover was 2.69 billion shares valued at RM2.55bil. The broader market was firmer with 513 gainers, 392 losers and 358 counters unchanged.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index skidded 2.82% and the Hang Seng China Enterprise 3.26% when they opened for trading. Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.71% and South Korea's Kospi 0.39% while Singapre's STI eked out a gain of 0.04%,
The United States and Japan flew citizens out of the Chinese city at the epicentre of a new virus outbreak on Wednesday, as the death toll rose sharply to 132 and the first case appeared in the Middle East, Reuters reported.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said it is confident in China's ability to contain the coronavirus. Health authorities reported the number of confirmed cases had jumped by 1,459 to 5,974.
At Bursa, Tenaga fell 18 sen to RM12.56 and wiped out 1.58 points while IHH lost nine sen to RM5.88 and erased 1.22 points. GentingM rose four sen to RM3.08 and Genting five sen to RM5.65 while Malaysia Airports climbed 31 sen to RM6.68.
Axiata rose 10 sen to RM4.30 and pushed the KLCI up 1.62 points, Maxis gained three sen to RM5.49 while Digi was flat at RM4.41.
US light crude oil rose 46 cents to US$53.94 and Brent gained 51 cents to US$60.02.
Petronas Dagangan was the top loser among the oil stocks, down 52 sen to RM22.28 and erased 0.9 of a point, Petronas Chemicals six sen to RM6.58 and Petronas Gas unchanged at RM16.30. Dialog perked up four sen to RM3.27.
Icon Offshore closed 22.5 sen lower at 31.5 sen as Bursa Securities placed trading curbs on the counter.
Glove makers gave up some of the recent gains due to the coronona virus outbreak in Wuhan, China. Hartalega fell 21 sen to RM6.04 and Top Glove 16 sen to RM5.84. Supermax lost eight sen to RM1.78 and Careplus 3.5 sen to 36 sen.
Crude palm oil for third month delivery rebounded RM133 to RM2,708 per tonne.
As for plantations, KL Kepong lost 12 sen to RM23.12, PPB Group rose eight sen to RM18.68, IOI Corp three sen to RM4.52 while Sime Plantation was flat at RM4.99.
Among the banks, CIMB added three sen to RM4.99, Public Bank four sen to RM19, Hong Leong Bank two sen to RM15.80 and RHB Bank one sen to RM5.75.
BAT rebounded RM1.30 to RM11.62, Carlsberg 88 sen to RM32, Heineken 50 sen to RM27.50 but F&N lost 12 sen to RM31.96.
Among the semicon and tech stocks, Vitrox added 37 sen to RM9.57 and Globetronics 16 sen to RM2.48.
The ringgit strengthened against the US dollar by 0.14% to 4.0802; edged up 0.02% to the pound sterling to 5.3112 and gained 0.26% to the euro at 4.4885. It climbed 0.14% against the Singapore unit.
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