Banks help shore up KLCI amid cautious market

KUALA LUMPUR: Public Bank and Hong Leong Bank helped shore up the FBM KLCI in early Wednesday trade but again the broader market was cautious as the MCO 3.0 came into effect throughout the nation.

At 9.13am, the KLCI was up 1.82 points or 0.12% to 1,579.46. Turnover was 282.86 million shares valued at RM162.70mil. There were 190 gainers, 267 losers and 297 counters unchanged.

Asian stocks and US equity futures fell Wednesday after a drop on Wall Street amid concern that faster inflation and the surge in commodities could test the recovery from the pandemic, Bloomberg reported.

Stocks slid in Japan, South Korea and Australia. US contracts retreated after the S&P 500 declined for a second day following a record high Friday.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 473.66 points, or 1.36%, to 34,269.16, the S&P 500 lost 36.33 points, or 0.87%, to 4,152.1 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 12.43 points, or 0.09%, to 13,389.43.

Oil prices settled higher on Tuesday, as lingering fears of gasoline shortages due to an outage at the largest U.S. fuel pipeline system after a cyber attack brought futures back from an early drop of more than 1%, Reuters reported.

Brent crude futures rose 23 cents, or 0.3%, to settle at US$68.55 a barrel while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 36 cents, or 0.6%, to end the session at $65.28.

At Bursa on Tuesday, local institutions were net buyers at RM143.5mil while local retail investors turned sellers at RM75.7mil and foreign funds net sellers at RM67.8mil.

HLFG rose 18 sen to RM16.88, Hong Leong Bank and Public Bank eight sen higher to RM4.18 and RM17.48.

Quality Concrete rose 20 sen to RM1.30, MPI 16 sen to RM36.20 and Atlan 12 sen to RM3 while, Lotte Chemical Titan gained seven sen to RM3.27.

Among the decliners were Gamuda, down 23 sen to RM3.35, Trans Ocean 19 sen to RM4.50, Widetec 10 sen to RM2.45 and CCB nine sen to RM2.50.

Petronas Chemicals lost 10 sen to RM8.12 and Petronas Gas eight sen to RM15.64.

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