Published: Monday February 4, 2013 MYT 1:25:00 PM
Banks drive KLCI higher at midday
By Joseph Chin
KUALA LUMPUR:Shares of banking stocks helped jump start the FBM KLCI on Monday as investors expect a firmer economic growth while the upbeat sentiment was also in line with the positive key regional markets.
At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was up 6.25 points to 1,633.80. Turnover was 615.82 million shares valued at RM724.60mil. There were 259 gainers, 323 losers and 279 counters unchanged.
Shares of MISC surged to the highest since September 2012 after Petronas made a RM8.8bil takeover for the shipping company at RM5.30 a share. MISC rose 76 sen to RM5.21 with 6.13 million shares done.
Wire reports said Asian stocks rose to the highest level in 18 months following signs of global recovery from the US and China.
Among the key regional markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 0.52% each to 11,249.15 and 23,844.05 respectively while Shanghai's Composite Index added 0.58% to 2,433.12.
Taiwan's Taiex rose 0.81% to 7,919.51 and Singapore's Straits Times Index gained 0.65% to 3,312.64 but South Korea's Kospi dipped 0.05% to 1,956.79.
At Bursa Malaysia, Maybank rose 12 sen to RM9 and pushed the KLCI up 2.25 points while CIMB added 10 sen to RM7.31 and nudged the index up 1.71 points. Hong Leong Bank rose 16 sen to RM14.40, HLFG 10 sen to RM13.86 and Public Bank eight sen to RM15.60. HL Capital shed eight sen to RM1.85.
Genting rose eight sen to RM9.58 and Genting Malaysia five sen to RM3.72.
Palm oil advanced for a fourth day, trading near a three-month high, on speculation that Malaysian stockpiles will drop from a record as shipments expand after the second-largest producer set a zero export tax, Bloomberg reported. At midday, it was up RM17 to RM2,547, the highest since Oct 29, 2012.
Oil-gas and auto player UMW, which had a strong run-up in recent weeks, fell 16 sen to RM11.98.