KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia bucked key Asian markets on Wednesday to close nearly 1% higher on local fund support for key stocks including Petronas Chemicals, MISC, Sime Plantations and Dialog Group.
At 5pm, the KLCI was up 13.36 points or 0.93% to 1,443.83 but year-to-date, it is down 9.12%.
Turnover was 4.47 billion shares valued at RM2.86bil. The broader market was slightly firmer as advancers led decliners five to nearly four or 510 gainers, 397 losers and 353 counters unchanged.
The gains in the stock market came amid the decline in crude oil prices and crude palm oil for third month delivery.
The ringgit rose 0.17% against the US dollar to 4.2315, jumped 1.11% against the pound sterling to 5.4693, edged up 0.54% versus the euro to 4.7851 and added 0.27% against the Singapore dollar.
Among the Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 2.27%, Hang Seng Index lost 0.63%, CSI 300 skidded 1.33%. Shanghai Composite Index 0.94%, Taiwan's Taiex 1% and South Korea's Kospi ended down 2.78% while Singapore's STI lost 1.55%.
Australia's S&P/ASX 200 closed down 3.6% and entered a bear market. It is down 14.34% year-to-date.
US light crude oil fell 72 cents to US$33.64 and Brent was down 73 cents to US$36.49 as Saudi Aramco readied to pump more oil.
Petronas Chemicals rose 37 sen to RM4.72 and added 5.34 points, Petronas Gas 10 sen to RM15.60 and Petronas Dagangan six sen to RM20.18. MISC added 48 sen to RM7.50 and nudged the KLCI by 3.86 points and Dialog 17 sen higher at RM3.25 and added 1.73 points.
CPO for third month delivery fell RM21 to RM2,320 per tonne.
Despite the decline, PPB Group added 60 sen to RM17.68 and added 1.54 points to the index, Sime Plantations 16 sen to RM4.61 and nudged the KLCI by 1.98 points, KL Kepong gained 42 sen to RM20.72 and IOI Corp seven sen to RM4. Genting Plantations lost 28 sen to RM9.42.
Meanwhile, Public Bank fell 10 sen to RM16.80 and erased 3.5 points from the KLCI. Its dividend went ex on Wednesday.
AmBank shed five sen to RM3.58.However, HL Bank gained 14 sen to RM15.06, RHB Bank four sen higher at RM5.58 and Maybank two sen to RM8.39 while CIMB edged up four sen to RM4.39.
Tenaga rose 12 sen to RM12.62, GentingM six sen to RM2.70, Genting three sen to RM4.54 and Sime Darby two sen to RM1.93.
S&P Global Ratings announced on Wednesday it revised the outlook on GENTING BHD to negative as it expects the on-going Covid-19 outbreak to impact the group's revenue and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda).
The rating agency expected revenue to drop by 20% to 25% and Ebitda by 25%-30% respectively in 2020 because of the outbreak.
Scientex climbed 41 sen to RM8.92 after announcing its strong set of financial results in the first half ended Jan 31, 2020.
As for consumer stocks, Carlsberg rose 66 sen to RM27.84, F&N 52 sen to RM29.92 but Nestle fell 80 sen to RM140.28.
Spot gold rose US$9.46 to US$1,658.85 per troy ounce.
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