Published: Thursday February 28, 2013 MYT 1:14:00 PM

Plantations lead KLCI higher despite fall in CPO prices

KUALA LUMPUR: Plantation stocks led the FBM KLCI higher at midday on Thursday despite the decline in crude palm oil (CPO) prices, amid a firmer sentiment, as reflected also in the buying interest in Genting and banks.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI had risen 3.83 points or 0.25% to 1,627.97. Turnover was 442.16 million shares valued at RM507.73mil. There were 268 gainers, 255 losers and 261 counters unchanged.

Among the key regional markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 2.08% to 11,488.22; Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index gained 1.21% to 22,850.85; Shanghai's Composite Index 0.61% to 2,327.43; Taiwan's Taiex 0.22% to 7,897.98 and South Korea's Kospi 1.10% higher to 2,024.24 and Singapore's Straits Times Index edged up 0.14% to 3,265.61.

Crude palm oil for third-month futures fell RM23 to RM2,387 per tonne. Reuters reported Malaysian palm oil product exports during February fell 9.1% to 1,326,420 tonnes from 1,458,475 tonnes in January

PPB and KLK gained 16 sen each to RM12.38 and RM20.82 while IOI Corp gained three sen to RM4.91 and Sime two sen to RM9.19 but United Plantations fell 30 sen to RM27.40.

Genting Bhd rose six sen to RM9.48 and Genting Malaysia four sen to RM3.61. Petronas Chemicals gained six sen to RM6.31.

Among the consumer stocks, Dutch Lady rose RM1.82 to RM46.22, BAT 40 sen to RM58.64 but JTI lost eight sen to RM6.30.

TM fell three sen to RM5.29 and DiGi one sen to RM4.56 but PetGas shed six sen to RM18.30.

Ingress fell on some mild profit taking after the recent rally that saw it share price suring to multiple year highs. It shed seven sen to RM1.52.

Reuters reported that Bank Negara Malaysia would tighten rules on the fixing of onshore reference rates for the ringgit. The ringgit strengthened to 3.0912 against the previous close of 3.1005.

US light crude oil rose 26 cents to US$93.02 and Brent 19 cents to US$112.06.

Spot gold rose US$1.25 to US1,598.35.

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