Published: Wednesday July 18, 2012 MYT 12:53:00 PM
Banks, telcos lift KLCI, broader market mixed
By Joseph Chin
KUALA LUMPUR: Fund buying of banks and telecommunication stocks lifted the FBM KLCI at midday on Wednesday, enabling the 30-stock index to buck the overall lacklustre regional markets.
At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was up 3.73 points or 0.23% to 1,642.88. Turnover was 612.34 million shares valued at RM601.68mil.
However, the broader market was mixed to lower, with some rising interest in lower liners. There were 294 gainers, 305 losers and 339 stocks unchanged.
A fund manager said while the KLCI had been inching up, there was no broad market rally.
However, he said the current market provided opportunities for stock picking while there was also rotational play in the sectors, from banks to plantations and now telcos.
As for Asian markets, their key indices slipped after US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke offered a gloomy view of the US economy. Reuters said investors' hopes that the central bank was moving closer to more stimulus measures limited the day's losses.
Chinese shares underperformed the region, dragged down by property plays after data showing another year-on-year dip in home prices spurred profit-taking in one of this year's biggest outperformers in Asia.
Among the key regional markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 was up 0.28% to 8,779.87 and Shanghai's Composite Index was flat at 2,161.77.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 0.77% to 19,305.26; Taiwan's Taiex lost 0.54% to 7,088.52; South Korea's Kospi 0.78% lower at 1,807.80 while Singapore's Straits Times Index gave ip 0.15% to 3,010.23.
US light crude oil fell 48 cents to US$88.74 and Brent slipped 68 cents to US$103.32. Spot gold lost US$2.71 to US$1,580.70.
The ringgit was stronger against the US dollar to 3,1588.
Crude palm oil for third-month futures fell RM35 to RM3,027.
At Bursa Malaysia, consumer stocks were the top gainers, with Nestle up 62 sen to RM59.12 and F&N 22 sen to RM18.60.
Public Bank rose 16 sen to RM14.28, pushing the KLCI up 1.77 points while HLFG added 16 sen also to RM12.46, HL Bank gained four sen to RM13.28 while Maybank, CIMB and AMMB edged up two sen each to RM8.76, RM7.88 and RM6.49.
AT Systemization was the most active with 809.98 million shares done, shedding 1.5 sen to 20 sen.
Cybertowers fell for the fifth straight day, down 17 sen to 43 sen with 20.43 million shares done.
Media Chinese International gave up part of its gains from Tuesday, easing eight sen to RM1.57. It had announced a 41 sen dividend plan.
Rapid-WA fell 20 sen to RM1.25 with 500 shares done, MAHB gave up 12 sen to RM5.57 and Tasek eight sen to RM9.72.