KUALA LUMPUR: Buying of Hartalega and Top Glove helped the key FBM KLCI to close at the key 1,500 level amid a cautious broader market on concerns about rising Covid-19 coronavirus cases, the lack of a conclusive vaccine and political uncertainties.
At 5pm, the KLCI was up 4.32 points or 0.29% to 1,500.80. Turnover was 5.89 billion shares valued at RM4.56bil. There were 451 gainers, 578 losers and 428 counters unchanged.
Hartalega rose the most, up RM1.40 to RM15.90 and added 7.42 points to the KLCI while Top Glove gained 53 sen to RM8.55 and lifted the index by 6.7 points.
Kossan ended the day up RM1.10 to RM13, Supermax 58 sen to RM8.41, Careplus 33 sen to RM3.15 and Rubberex 32 sen to RM5.37.
With the six-month moratorium nearing to an end on Sept 30, Maybank lost eight sen to RM7.09 and erased 1.40 points, Public Bank 12 sen lower at RM15.52, CIMB five sen tomRM3.05 while Hong Leong Bank was flat at RM14.90.
Power giant Tenaga shed eight sen to RM10.82. As for energy stocks, Petronas Chemical lost 16 sen to RM5.34 and erased nearly two points, Petronas Dagangan six sen to RM20.10 and Petronas Gas four sen to RM16.40.
Reuters reported oil prices dropped on Thursday, despite a fall in U.S. inventories last week, amid a stronger dollar and a renewed wave of COVID-19 cases in Europe that led to renewed travel restrictions in several countries.
Brent crude futures fell 21 cents, or 0.5%, to $41.56 a barrel by 0922 GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures dropped 26 cents, or 0.7%, to $39.67 a barrel.
Among plantations, KL Kepong rose 14 sen to RM22.78 but Sime Plantation was flat at RM5.05, IOI Corp shed two sen to RM4.48 and PPB Group skidded 22 sen to RM18.88.
As for telcos, Maxis was the top decliner, shedding nine sen to RM7.09, Axiata and Telekom seven sen each to RM2.99 and RM4.13 while Digi was five sen lower at RM5.03.
MMAG fell 20.5 sen to 79.5 sen, extending its decline for the second day after hitting an intra-day high of RM1.95 on Tuesday.
Reuters reported Stock markets across Asia's emerging economies sank on as concerns about rising coronavirus cases in the developed world hammered investors' risk appetite, driving capital into the dollar and other traditional safe havens.
With the tone set by a drop on Wall Street overnight, Singapore's Strait Times index was also caught up in the action, losing almost 1% as early falls in China sparked losses of as much as 2.5% across the region.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was down 1.82% at 23,311.07, its lowest since May 29. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index fell 1.96% to 9,371.19.
India, South Korea and Taiwan, among the strongest performers in recent weeks thanks to their appeal to technology investors, were the worst hit, falling 1.9%, 2.6% and 2.5%, respectively.
In Indonesia, hit by concerns over rising domestic Covid-19 cases and moves to involve the central bank in fiscal stimulus, stocks hit a two-week low.
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