Published: Thursday December 6, 2012 MYT 5:56:00 PM

KLCI closes off day's best, plantations weigh

By Joseph Chin

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's blue chips closed higher on Thursday, but they were off the day's best as intra-day traders were quick to take profit while investors' appetite for plantation stocks continued to wane.

At the close, the FBM KLCI was up 2.44 points or 0.15% to 1,616.23 but off the intra-day high of 1,620. Turnover was 881.16mil shares valued at RM1.24bil. Declining stocks beat advancers 365 to 282 while 341 counters were unchanged.

Among the key regional markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.81% to 9,545.16, South Korea's Kospi gained 0.13% to 1,949.62 and Singapore's Straits Times Index edged up 0.07% to 3,078.20.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index shed 0.09% to 22,249.81; Shanghai's Composite Index lost 0.13% to 2,029.24 and Taiwan's Taiex dropped 0.34% to 7,623.26.

US light crude oil gained 12 cents to US$88 and Brent inched up six cents to US$108.87. Spot gold fell below US$1,700, down US$1.62 to US$1,692.28.

The ringgit weakened against the US dollar to 3.0481 from the previous close of 3.0413 on concerns ahead of the release of the trade data and industrial production index.

At Bursa Malaysia, Nestle rose 90 sen to RM63.88 and BAT 70 sen higher at RM58.40 but GAB fell 12 sen to RM16.

Takaso surged in active trade, up 21.5 sen to 47 sen, the highest since Aug 29, 2011. It was the most active with 88.25 million shares done. Takaso-WB rose 2.5 sen to 16 sen with 64.11 million warrants done.

Aeon Credit and Aeon continued to be in the radar screens of investors, with Aeon Credit up 48 sen to RM12.82 and Aeon 24 sen to RM12.08.

Petronas Dagangan rose 32 sen to RM23.46, adding 0.3% to the KLCI while Genting Bhd rose 15 sen to RM9.12, pushing the index up 1.29 points. Tenaga rose nine sen to RM7.03.

Public Bank and Hong Leong Bank rose four sen each to RM15.60 and RM14.74 while Maybank gained two sen to RM9.09.

While crude palm oil for third-month futures rose US$18 to RM2,302, the gains in the futures market were not able to provide the positive boost to plantation stocks.

Investors' worries about a weaker October-December earnings dampened investors' sentiment.

Plantations fell the most, with Far East fell 50 sen to RM6.80, Sungai Bagan lost 24 sen to RM2.80, Tradewinds Plantations lost 15 sen to RM4.06, Riverview 12 sen to RM3.01 and Batu Kawan 10 sen to RM17.70.

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