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Wednesday, 16 May 2018 | MYT 6:23 PM

KLCI closes on firmer note as Public Bank, Maxis, CIMB gain

KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips closed on a firmer note on Wednesdaywith fund buying seen in Public Bank, Maxis and CIMB as investors grew more confident in the new administration's policies.

At 5pm, the FBM KLCI was up 10.06 points or 0.54% to 1,858.26. Turnover was three billion shares valued at RM2.91bil. The broader market was mixed with 492 gainers, 486 losers and 368 counters unchanged. 

Blue chips managed to hold on to their gains, unlike Tuesday where foreign fund selling wiped out 10 points from the KLCI in the last 10 minutes of trade. On Monday and Tuesday, foreign funds battered Bursa with net selling surging to RM1.51bil.

Reuters reported that most Southeast Asian stock markets declined, tracking Asian peers, after Pyongyang called off talks with Seoul, throwing a major US-North Korean summit into question. 

Investor sentiment was also subdued as surging 10-year US Treasury yields sparked fears of faster fund outflows from regional equities. 

Banks, seen as proxy for the economy, rose. Public Bank rose 50 sen to RM24.50 and pushed the KLCI up 3.47 points while CIMB added 10 sen to RM6.85 and Maybank six sen higher at RM10.86 while AmBank rose seven sen to RM3.58.

As for telcos, Maxis rose 17 sen to RM5.80 and lifted the KLCI up 2.38 points. Axiata added five sen to RM5.21, Digi gained three sen to RM4.70 but Telekom lost five sen to RM4.92.

Consumer stocks continued to lead the gainers' list with BAT surging RM3.06 to RM31.56, Dutch Lady added RM2.30 to RM69.30, Nestle RM1.80 to RM141.50 while F&N was up 58 sen to RM36.50.

Crude plam oil for third month delivery fell RM21 to RM2,415 per tonne. IOI Corp was flat at RM4.75, KL Kepong lost 10 sen to RM25.40 while PPB Group lost eight sen to RM19.80.

However, Sime Plantation fared better, up three sen to RM5.54, Sime Darby shed one sen to RM2.79 while Sime Property rose one sen to RM1.47.

Tenaga was unchanged at RM15.92, Genting lost seven sen to RM8.69 and Genting Malaysia was down six sen to RM4.98. 

US light crude oil fell six cents to US$71.25 and Brent 33 cents lower at US$78.10. Petronas Chemical edged up two sen to RM8.62, Petronas Dagangan lost two sen to RM26.32 and Petronas Gas four sen lower at Rm17.50.

The ringgit lost ground against the surging US dollar, falling 0.3% to 3.9683 but it rose 0.22% to the pound sterling to 5.3457 and advanced 0.53% against the euro to 4.6916 and climed 0.17% to the Singapore dollar at 2.9540.

However, HSS Engineering fell the most, skidding 23.5 sen to 85.5 sen on the possibility the East Coast Railway could be reviewed.

MPI lost 23 sen to RM8.40, Westports 13 sen lpwer at RM3.27 and Kimlun 12 sen to RM1.79.