KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips closed higher on Thursday, underpinned by gains in Telekom Malaysia and Tenaga Nasional, amid a mixed broader market.
At 5pm, the KLCI was up 5.2 points or 0.34% to 1,554.78 but year-to-date, it is down 2.14%. Turnover was 13.71 billion shares valued at RM5.55bil. There were 545 gainers, 580 losers and 374 counters unchanged.
Telekom rose 34 sen to RM4.13 after its 2Q net profit more than doubled to RM274.74mil from RM114.18mil due to the absence of impairment losses on fixed network assets last year.
Power giant Tenaga added 12 sen to RM11.12 and added 1.06 points to the KLCI.
Sime Plantation advanced six sen to RM5.16. Its earnings surged by 1,300% to RM378mil in 2Q boosted by stronger crude palm oil (CPO) and palm kernel (PK) prices realised. It rewarded shareholders with a dividend of 4.02 sen a share.
Sime Darby eked out a one sen gain to RM2.19 after it reported a net profit of RM820mil for FY ended June 30,2020 compared with RM948mil a year ago. However, its core net profit rose 9.5% to RM1.04bil. It declared eight sen dividend.
Maybank was unchanged at RM7.46 after its net profit for 2Q fell by RM1bil or 51.5% to RM941.7mil from RM1.94bil a year earlier. It did not propose to declare a dividend for this year.
CIMB and RHB Bank were flat at RM3.37 and RM4.68, Hong Leong Bank fell four sen to RM14.64 but Public Bank added two sen to RM16.62.
Axiata and Maxis rose two sen each to RM3.13 and RM5.06 while Digi shed one sen to RM4.14.
Crude palm oil for third month delivery rose RM38 to RM2,683 per tonne. IOI Corp edged up one sen to RM4.49, KL Kepong eight sen to RM22.72 but PPB Group fell 18 sen to RM19.26.
Kwantas surged 30 sen to 85.5 sen in active trade after its major shareholder offered to take it private.
US light crude oil fell eight cents to US$43.13 but Brent gained nine cents to US$45.73.
Petronas Chemicals was flat at RM5.81, Petronas Dagangan fell 14 sen to RM20.58 and Petronas Gas four sen lower at RM16.88. Dialog added two sen to RM3.69.
Among the glove makers, Hartalega added 10 sen to RMRM16.86 and Top Glove six sen higher at RM26.40. Supermax fell the most, down RM1.08 to RM20.20 on profit taking, Comfort 27 sen to RM4.28 and Carelplus 23 sen to RM3.52.
On the external front, Reuters reported China shares closed higher, lifted by new data showing industrial profits rose in July, and as tech firms resumed a rally sparked by reforms to the country's tech-heavy ChiNext board.
At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was up 0.61% at 3,350.11. The blue-chip CSI300 index was up 0.54%.
However, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 0.83% to 25,281.15 as tensions between the United States and China weighed on sentiment, and as global investors awaited the outlook on monetary policy from US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, Reuters reported.
South Korea's Kospi fell 1.05% to 2,344.45 and Singapore's STI 0.88% to 2,519.81.
The ringgit slipped 0.07% to the US dollar to 4.1733.
Spot gold fell US$12.59 to US$1,941.87 per ounce.
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