Late push but not enough for KLCI to cross 1,500

KUALA LUMPUR: Late buying of selected stocks including Nestle and Petronas Dagangan helped the FBM KLCI pare down its losses but the gains were insufficient to push the index above the key 1,500 level.

At 5pm, the KLCI was up 6.4 points or 0.43% to 1,498.80 after falling to a low of 1,486 at about 3.40pm. Turnover was 6.73 billion shares valued at RM4.60bil. Decliners beat advancers 614 to 461 and 450 counters unchanged.

A recovery in crude oil prices helped Petronas-linked stocks but banks lost ground.

Among the key Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.7%, China's Shanghai Composite 0.38% and South Korea's Kospi closed down 0.67% but Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose by 0.13% and Singapore's STI edged up 0.09%.

Nestle was the top gainer, up RM5.10 to RM144.50, Carlsberg climbed RM1.24 to RM20.16 and Heineken 28 sen to RM19.08 but BAT lost 32 sen to RM9.80.

US light crude oil and Brent rose 16 cents each to US$40.19 and US$41.86. Petronas Dagangan climbed 28 sen to RM19.08, PetGas 16 sen to RM16.24 and PChem one sen to RM5.85 and Dialog four sen to RM3.76.

Among the banks, Public Bank lost 20 sen to RM15.56, BIMB fell 20 sen to RM3.27, Maybank nine sen to RM7.06, RHB Bank eight sen to RM4.27 and HL Bank flat at RM15.

As for semicon and tech stocks, MPI rose 52 sen to RM20.60, UWC 47 sen to RM6.80 and JF Tech 28 sen to RM4.57.

Glove stocks were mixed as Hartalega lost four sen to RM17.80, Supermax three sen to RM9.47 but Top Glove gained two sen to RM8.90 and Kossan added 14 sen to RM7.46. MahSing edged up one sen to RM1.14.

Supermax call warrants were among the top losers but in thin trade.

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