Petronas Chemicals lifts KLCI at midday, gold advances

KUALA LUMPUR: Petronas Chemicals, IHH Healthcare and Maybank lifted the FBM KLCI at midday on Thursday while spot gold price advanced and the ringgit rose against the US dollar.

At 12.30pm, the KLCI was up 8.21 points or 0.52% to 1,576.34. Turnover rose to 9.88 billion shares and putting Bursa on course for another record high in trading volume.

Trading value was 4.83 billion shares. The broader market was mixed with 553 gainers, 462 losers and 416 counters unchanged.

The ringgit rose 0.1% against the greenback to 4.1865. Spot gold rose 0.23% or US$4.62 to US$2,042.75 per ounce and year-to-date, it is up 34.63%.

US light crude oil inched up one cent to US$42.20 and Brent gained 15 cents to US$45.32.

The firmer oil prices gave energy stocks a lift. Petronas Chemicals rose 18 sen to RM5.91 and added 2.24 points to the KLCI, Petronas Dagangan also gained 18 sen to RM20.24 while Petronas Gas was flat at RM16.28. Dialog added three sen to RM3.66.

Among the banks, Maybank rose four sen to RM7.51 and added 0.7 of a point, Public Bank six sen to RM16.74, Hong Leong Bank four sen to RM14.46 but CIMB shed one sen to RM3.42.

Top Glove added 14 sen to RM28.08 and added 0.58 of a point to the index and Hartalega two sen higher at RM19.82. HLT jumped 60 sen to RM3.05 and the warrants 39 sen to RM2.11.

Notion V-Tec extended its strong run, up 43 sen to RM1.87 and the warrants 33 sen to RM1.45.

Crude palm oil for third month delivery rose RM15 to RM2,732 per tonne. KL Kepong rose 22 sen to RM22.98, IOI Corp gained seven sen to RM4.46, Sime Darby Plantation was flat at RM5.05 while PPB Group lost six sen to RM18.82.

Key Asian markets were mostly lower, with Japan's Nikkei 225 down 0.58%, Hang Seng Index lost 1.63% and Shanghai Composite shed 0.38% but South Korea's Kospi added 1.1%.

Among the Asean markets, Singapore rose 0.9%, Thailand's SET 0.12% and Jakarata Composite 0.85% higher.

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