Published: Friday June 29, 2012 MYT 6:02:00 PM
Updated: Friday June 29, 2012 MYT 6:32:35 PM
KLCI ends Q2 on firmer note, but just below 1,600
By Joseph Chin
KUALA LUMPUR: Key regional markets including Malaysia ended the second quarter on a firmer note, chalking up late gains on Friday after European leaders meeting in Brussels agreed to ease repayment terms for Spain's banks.
The FBM KLCI closed 4.91 points or 0.31% higher at 1,599.15. However, it was unable to repeat Monday's feat when it surged to an all-time intra-day high of 1,611.50.
Year-to-date, the KLCI is up 4.47% but only three points above end-March's close of 1,596.33.
Global markets were roiled by rising worries about the contagion effect from the eurozone crisis, with May being the worst month during the second quarter, which saw key Asian indices entering into the red then.
Year-to-date, the KLCI is lagging the bigger markets including Japan's Nikkei 225, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index and Singapore's Straits Times Index which have risen 6.52%, 5,46% and 8.77% year-to-date.
As for Friday, the Nikkei 225 closed up 2.5% to 9,006.78 for the day while the Hang Seng Index added 2.19% to 19,441.46; Singapore's STI gained 1.11% to 2,878.45. Shanghai's Composite Index rose 1.35% to 2,225.43; Taiwan's Taiex added 1.77% to 7,296.28 and South Korea's Kospi 1.91% to 1,854.01.
European bourses rallied, chalking up gains of up to 2.56%.
Market sentiment perked up on Friday after Euro zone leaders agreed to bend their aid rules to shore up banks and bring down the borrowing costs of stricken members like Italy and Spain, in a sign the bloc is adopting a more flexible approach to solving its two-year old debt crisis.
Reuters reported the measures, agreed after 14 hours of intense talks that pitted Rome and Madrid against Europe's paymaster Berlin, were welcomed by financial markets. The euro rose sharply against the dollar and yields on Spanish and Italian debt fell sharply.
US light crude oil jumped US$1.91 to US$79.56 and Brent US$1.94 to US$93.30. The ringgit strengthened against the US dollar to 3.1772, the highest level since June 21.
At Bursa Malaysia, BAT was the top gainer, adding 90 sen to RM56, pushing the KLCI up 0.4 of a point.
Crude palm oil third month futures rose RM18 to RM3,016.
Among the plantations, NSOP rose 23 sen to RM6.05, United Plantations 20 sen to RM25.90, Batu Kawan 18 sen to RM18.38, Kulim 17 sen to RM4.70 and PPB 14 sen to RM15.98. Heavyweight IOI added five sen to RM5.19 and it was the top mover among the KLCI stocks, pushing the index up 0.75 of a point.
KLCCP rallied 34 sen to another fresh high of RM4.65 on a possible REIT while KLCCP-CA added 11 sen to 43.5 sen.
Felda Global Ventures, the world's second largest IPO after Facebook, closed two sen higher at RM5.32 after a strong debut on Thursday.
Among the lower liners and penny stocks, MBF jumped 12 sen to close at 97.5 sen after on news the company was looking to sell its card business.