Published: Thursday February 14, 2013 MYT 1:16:00 PM

IOI, Public Bank, Genting advance amid lacklustre market

By Joseph Chin

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's blue chips were off their morning's best on Thursday on some mild profit taking, reflecting the mixed key regional markets, but gains in IOI Corp, Public Bank and Genting Bhd propped up the FBM KLCI.

At 12.30pm, the KLCI was up 2.69 points or 0.16% to 1,633.85. Turnover was 300 million shares valued at RM466.63mil. There were 205 gainers, 214 losers and 263 counters unchanged.

Analysts said trading was lacklustre with retail investors staying on the sidelines due to the Chinese New Year break and they expected sentiment to remain cautious ahead of the general elections.

Crude palm oil for third-month futures dipped RM2 to RM2,503. The ringgit strengthened against the US dollar to 3.0872 from 3.0904 the previous day.

IOI Corp rose seven sen to RM4.91 and pushed the KLCI up 1.04 points, United Plantations 30 sen to RM26.20 and Far East 10 sen to RM7.20 while PPB Group added four sen to RM12.10. FGV fell two sen to RM4.49.

Tebrau Teguh added 4.5 sen to 92.5 sen and UEM Land eight sen to RM2.19 in active trade on the Iskandar Malaysia theme and recent corporate developments.

Public Bank rose four sen to RM16.02 and HLFG six sen to RM13.54 but CIMB shed six sen to RM7.19.

Petronas Dagangan added 18 sen to RM22.62 and Genting Bhd five sen to RM9.78.

AZRB gained 5.0 sen to 76.5 sen in active trade on the RM1.55bil contract to build the East Klang Valley Exprtessway.

Aeon Credit was the top gainer while consumer stocks Dutch Lady added 40 sen to RM42.80 and F&N 16 sen to RM18.08.

APM fell the most, down 26 sen to RM5.44 with 100 shares done. Perstima shed 12 sen to RM3.03 and Atlan 10 sen to RM4.90.

Among the key regional markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.56% to 11,314.45. Reuters reported a pause in the yen's recovery affected Japanese equities positively on Thursday, after Wednesday's 1% slump when the firming yen prompted investors to take profits on exporters.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index added 0.94% to 23,434.43.

South Korea's Kospi shed 0.02% to 1,975.65. The Bank of Korea held interest rates steady for a fourth straight month on Thursday as expected, as global economies show signs of improvement and domestic inflation remains low, Reuters said.

Singapore's Straits Times Index shed 0.17% to 3,295.58.

US light crude oil rise 16 cents to US$97.17 and Brent eight cents to US$117.96 while spot gold gained US$2,55 to US$1,645.04.

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