KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips edged up slightly in early Monday trade, with Petronas Dagangan, Hong Leong Bank and KL Kepong among the top gainers.
At 9.39am, the FBM KLCI was up 1.41 points or 0.09% to 1,588.86. Turnover was 1.23 billion shares valued at RM691.52mil. There were 313 gainers, 388 losers and 381 counters unchanged.
On the external front, stocks rose on Monday amid speculation that interest rates will remain low due to receding inflationary pressure, while oil and gas prices jumped after a cyber attack on a U.S. pipeline operator unnerved markets, Reuters reported.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.35%, while US stock futures rose 0.24%.
Australian stocks hit their highest in more than a year, boosted by gains in miners, and shares in China rose 0.46%. Japanese shares gained 0.91%.
Meanwhile, the local stock market has continued to see an outflow by foreign funds. According to MIDF Research, foreign investors disposed of RM336.37mil net of equities last week as compared to RM376.46mil in the previous week. Year-to-date, foreign investors have been net sellers of RM3.21bil of Malaysian equities.
In early Monday trade, Amcorp Properties was the top gainer, up 30 sen to 84.5 sen after its major shareholders proposed to take it private at 90 sen a share.
Petronas Dagangan rose 20 sen to RM19.50 as crude oil prices climbed more than 1% after a major cyber attack that forced the shutdown of critical fuel supply pipelines in the United States, highlighting the fragility of oil infrastructure.
Reuters reported Brent crude was up by 76 cents, or 1.1%, at $$69.04 a barrel by 0039 GMT, having risen by l.5% last week. U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures rose by 70 cents, or 1.1%, at $65.60 a barrel, after gaining more than 2% last week.
Other gainers were Timberwell, up 21 sen to RM1.21 and MPI 12 sen to RM38.64.
As for plantations, IJM Plantation gained 16 sen to RM2.14 and KL Kepong 14 sen to RM22.66.
Hong Leong Bank was the top performer among the banks, up 18 sen to RM17.70.
Smaller-cap glove makers advanced, Adventa gained 13 sen to RM2.21 and Careplus 11 sen to RM2.52 in active trade.
Among the decliners were Cycle & Carriage Bintang, sliding 42 sen to RM2.58 after last Friday’s surge, Euro Holdings 20 sen to RM2.47, Trans Ocean 17 sen to RM5.90 and MSC 12 sen lower to RM2.54.