Published: Wednesday February 13, 2013 MYT 1:08:00 PM

Public Bank, CIMB give KLCI firm start in Year of the Snake

By Joseph Chin

KUALA LUMPUR: Buying of Public Bank and CIMB gave the FBM KLCI a firm start in the Year of the Snake when trading resumed on Wednesday but trading volume remained thin.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI rose 7.92 points or 0.49% to 1,631.72. Turnover was 327.69 million shares valued at RM439.69mil. There were 241 gainers, 148 losers and 216 counters unchanged.

Among the key regional markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.10% to 11,244.24 but South Korea's Kospi gained 1.43% to 1,973.64 and Singapore's Straits Times Index rallied 0.93% to 3,300.64.

At Bursa Malaysia, Public Bank rose 12 sen to RM15.98 and gave the KLCI a 1.3 point boost while CIMB added six sen to RM7.24 and nudged the index up 1.03 points.

Hwang DBS rose 20 sen to RM3.99 on expectations of news reports about the sale of HwangDBS Investment Bank (HIB).

Crude palm oil for third-month futures fell RM40 to RM2,520, the lowest since Jan 30.

January palm oil stocks dropped 1.9% to 2,577,514 tonnes from a revised 2,627,419 tonnes in December, Reuters quoted industry regulator Malaysian Palm Oil Board saying. January's drop missed market expectations stocks in the world's No.2 palm oil producer likely dropped 2.9% to 2.55 million tonnes.

KL Kepong rose 22 sen to RM21.52 and IOI Corp five sen to RM4.90 but Sime Darby lost one sen to RM9.25.

UMW rose 16 sen to RM12.42, Petronas Chemicals 11 sen to RM6.11, Genting six sen to RM9.73 and Axiata four sen to RM6.30.

Among the consumer stocks, BAT rose 40 sen to RM58.40, Carlsberg added 40 sen to RM12.46 while F&N added 14 sen to RM18.14 but Dutch Lady fell 10 sen to RM42.30.

MRCB rose four sen to RM1.30 with 7.22 million shares done. UOB Kay Hian Malaysia Research said although the acquisition of Gapurna was pricey and could be earnings per share dilutive in the short term, MRCB would benefit in the longer term.

The ringgit strengthened against the US dollar to 3.0947 from the previous close of 3.1068.

US light crude oil rose 10 centys to US$97.61 but Brent fell five cents to US$118.61 and spot gold added 27 cents to US$1,651.60.

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