KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips snapped their losing streak on Thursday on some buying of IHH Healthcare and KL Kepong but gloves lost ground amid a weaker broader market though there were some bright spots in the economic outlook.
At 5pm, the FBM KLCI was up 2.66 points or 0.17% to 1,578.33. Turnover was 6.20 billion shares valued at RM4.46bil. Decliners beat advancers about two to one or 772 losers to 369 gainers while 399 counters were unchanged.
There was some firmer buying of blue chips after the Statistics Department announced a rebound in the March industrial production index to the highest since mid-2013.
Bank Negara Malaysia announced it was keeping the Overnight Policy Rate unchanged at 1.75% following its monetary policy committee (MPC) meeting.
OCBC Bank economist Wellian Wiranto said even though the country is experiencing another bout of Covid-19 resurgence, Bank Negara continues to take the view that any restriction orders – including those that were just announced for the KL – would be less restrictive than before, and hence impact growth less forcefully.
He said Bank Negara appears to remain broadly sanguine on the outlook for both global and domestic economies.
“Its statement is replete with how one particular economic segment will strengthen there or another would continue to be strong here. In short, it does not look like a central bank that is worried of a sharp downward lurch that warrants any forceful policy easing anytime soon, ” Wiranto said.
IHH rose 41 sen to RM5.61, Press Metal 15 sen to RM5.30 and MISC nine sen to RM6.77.
HLFG rose 24 sen to RM16.72, CIMB five sen to RM4.11 and Maybank two sen to RM8.23 but Public Bank shed two sen to RM4.09 and Hong Leong Bank lost six sen to RM17.60.
Petronas Gas gained eight sen to RM15.68, Petronas Chemicals three sen higher at RM8.19 but Petronas Dagangan lost 16 sen to RM19.50. Dialog advanced four sen to RM3.04,
As for telcos, Axiata advanced 12 sen to RM4.77 and Maxis seven sen to RM4.57, Telekom five sen to RM5.77 and Digi edged up two sen to Rm4.20
Among the glovemakers, Supermax fell 70 sen to RM4.87, Top Glove 26 sen to RM5.06 and Hartalega 58n sen to RM9.25.
As for plantations, KL Kepong rebounded 56 sen to RM22.16, PPB Group was up 14 sen to RM18.64, Sime Plantation added five sen to RM4.59, IOI Corp four sen to RM4.08,
Widetex hit limit-up, gaining 38 sen to RM1.66.
Can-One was up 15 sen to RM3.16 as investors did not expect the unconditional mandatory takeover offer at RM2.50 per share from its director Yeoh Jin Hoe and persons acting in concert with him (PACs) to receive strong support and hence, forcing them to revise upwards the offer price.
Prestar saw active trade, gaining 19 sen to RM1.44 after its strong results.
On the external front, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.26%.
Japan’s Nikkei advanced 1.8% to close at 29,331.37 while South Korea’s Kospi ended 31.37 points, or 1.00%, higher at 3,178.74.
China’s CSI300 index fell 1.2% to 5,061.12, while the Shanghai Composite Index eased 0.2% to 3,441.28 points.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index closed up 219.48 points, or 0.77%, at 28,637.46.