Published: Monday July 2, 2012 MYT 5:35:00 PM
Blue chips close firmer, banks, Genting up
By Joseph Chin
KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips closed the start of the second half of 2012 on a firmer note on Monday, with the broader market higher on investors' expectations of more policy measures to resolve the euro zone crisis.
Banks and Genting were among the major gainers, underpinning the FBM KLCI, which closed up 1.7 points or 0.11% to 1,600.85. However, the 30-stock index was off the day's best of 1,605.22.
Advancers beat decliners 412 to 302 while 334 stocks were unchanged as sentiment perked up later in the day. But the buying support for big capitalised stocks eased off in the afternoon session. Turnover was 1.08 billion shares valued at RM1.28bil.
Among the key regional markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.04% to 9,003.48 and South Korea's Kospi shed 0.13% to 1,851.65. Shanghai's Composite Index was unchanged at 2,226.11.
Singapore's Straits Times Index advanced 1.12% to 2,911.10 and Taiwan's Taiex added 0.67% to 7,345.16 and
Reuters reported that weak Chinese data kept a lid on gains among European equities. Factory activity in China's private sector shrank at its fastest pace in seven months in June, data showed on Monday, dampening prospects for European companies which are increasingly looking abroad for earnings growth as the region's domestic economy stumbles. Investors were hoping weak data could galvanise policymakers into action to stimulate the economy. The European Central Bank was widely seen cutting interest rates at this week's meeting.
US light crude oil fell US$1.29 to US$83.67 and Brent lost US$1.63 to US$96.17. The ringgit strengthened against the US dollar to 3,1631.
Crude palm oil futures for third month delivery rose RM47 6 to RM3,067.
At Bursa, among the index-linked stocks, HL Bank rose 22 sen to RM12.66, pushing the KLCI up 0.52 of a point while Public Bank added two sen to RM13.78. Genting Bhdadded 10 sen to RM9.53, pushing the index up 0.87 of a point.
Nestle was the top gainer, up 82 sen to RM58.32, Pharmaniaga and Warisan 48 sen each to RM10.66 and RM2.75. Allianz rose 18 sen to RM5.22 and Allianz-PA 16 sen to RM5.18 while MPHB gained 11 sen to RM3.41.
FGV extended its gains for the third day since its listing, adding seven sen to RM5.39. Its institutional price was RM4.55.