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Monday, 17 July 2017 | MYT 6:12 PM

Foreign buying underpins telcos, Petronas Chemicals late push

KUALA LUMPUR: Telcos and Petronas Chemicals provided the last-gasp advance for the FBM KLCI which was under pressure in the late afternoon on Monday while the broader market was mixed and the ringgit slipped against the key currencies.

At 5pm, the KLCI was up 0.19 of a point or 0.01% to 1,755.19. Turnover was 2.04 billion shares valued at RM1.71bil. There were 380 gainers, 409 losers and 440 counters unchanged.

Stock market data showed foreign funds were net buyers at RM111.04mil while local institutions were net sellers at RM113.86mil. Retail investors were net buyers at RM2.82mil only.
The ringgit rose against the US dollar but fell against the other key currencies. It rose 0.1% to the greenback at 4.2880 but tumbled 0.74% to the pound sterling to 5.6049 and was down 0.15% to the Singapore dollar at 3.1291 and lost 0.23% to the euro at 4.9087.

Hong Kong stocks rose for the sixth straight day on Monday, closing at fresh two-year highs, with sentiment aided by robust China economic growth data and signs Chinese money inflows are accelerating, Reuters. 

However, sharp drops in highly speculative small-cap stocks pulled China's major stock indexes lower on Monday, offsetting stronger-than-expected economic growth data. Fears of further policy tightening and a flood of supply from initial public offerings pulled benchmarks down by an unusually hefty 2% in early trade, Reuters reported.

At Bursa Malaysia, Digi, Axiata and Maxis staged a mild rebound. Digi rose seven sen to RM4.73 and added 0.92 of a point to the KLCI, Axiata was up four sen to RM4.64 and gave the index a 0.61 of a point boost, Maxis gained three sen to RM5.53 while Telekom was flat at RM5.10.

Among the banks, BIMB fell 12 sen to RM5.20 – the biggest decline in months in the absence of any negative news.

Recently, Moody's Investors Service said the merger of Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB) and Asian Finance Bhd (AFB) will lead to stiffer competition among smaller Islamic banks to secure deposits. 

CIMB fell six sen to RM6.28 on profit taking and erased 0.92 of a point, Maybank shed one sen to RM9.61, AmBank and RHB Bank were flat at RM5.10 and RM5.06, Public Bank was unchanged at RM20.36 while Hong Leong Bank rose four sen to RM15.90.

Insurer Allianz rose 14 sen to RM13.80 but Allianz-PA lost 24 sen to RM13.46 with 200 shares done.

Among the consumer stocks, Ajinomoto was the top gainer, up 86 sen to RM25, BAT added 64 sen to RM43.58 and Apollo 20 sen higher at RM5.20. 

US light crude oil lost three cents to US$46.51 and Brent one sen higher at RM48.92. Petronas Chemicals rose four sen to RM6.89 and added 0.54 of a point, Petronas Gas and Petronas Dagangan were two sen higher at RM18.82 and RM23.68.

Petron added 35 sen to RM8.36 while UMW-OG advanced 8.5 sen to 37 sen. Lotte Chemical Titan fell one sen to RM6.40.

Reuters reported the Malaysian government will lower its CPO export tax to 5.5% in August from 6.5% in July. It calculated RM2,699.54 per tonne for August. A price above RM2,250 incurs a tax, which starts from 4.5% and can reach a maximum of 8.5%.

PPB Group rose 18 sen to RM16.88, KL Kepong four sen higher at RM24.70, Sime Darby lost two sen to RM9.53, IOI Corp shed one sen RM4.50.

Prestariang rose 18 sen to RM2.38 in active trade ahead of a corporate announcement about a joint venture, it was learnt. Trading was suspended on Tuesday.

Among the key regional markets,

Japan’s Nikkei 225 edged up 0.09% to 20,118.86;

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.31% to 26,470.58;

CSI 300 fell 1.07% to 3,663.56;

Shanghai’s Composite Index lost 1.43% to 3,176.46;

Shenzen Composite Index tumbled 4.28% to 1,800.54;

Hang Seng China Enterprise  rose 0.51% to 10,783.19;

Taiwan’s Taiex gained 0.13% to 10,457.54;

South Korea’s Kospi added 0.43% to 2,425.10; and 

Singapore’s Straits Times Index gained 0.33% to 3,298.24.

Spot gold rose US$1.44 to US$1,230.15.