KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips closed higher on Monday, underpinned by fund buying of key stocks including Maxis, Genting Bhd and IOI Corp as key regional markets closed broadly higher as confidence in the US economy returned.
At 5pm, the KLCI was up 9.33 points or 0.57% to 1,653.87 as 26 out of the 30 stocks in the index were in the positive zone.
Turnover on Bursa was 1.61 billion shares valued at RM1.60bil. There were 439 gainers, 327 losers and 359 counters unchanged.
The ringgit advanced against some major currencies, breaking past the 4.0 level against the US dollar to 3.9938 from 4.0345. It was at 5.1342 against the pound sterling from 5.2180 and at 2.9616 versus the Singapore dollar from 2.9922. It climved to 4.4075 to the euro from 4.4682.
Reuters reported Hong Kong shares finished higher after a strong US labour report buoyed global stocks and muted China inflation data boosted expectations for further economic stimulus in the mainland.
In the US, employers added a seasonally adjusted 287,000 jobs in June a Friday report showed, much stronger-than-expected and easing fears about a major slowdown in the U.S. economy.
The Hang Seng index rose 1.5% to 20,880.50, while the China Enterprises Index gained 2% to 8,703.
China stocks closed up, shedding some early gains but still finishing in the black.
The CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen rose 0.3% to 3,203.33, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.2% to 2,994.92.
At Bursa Malaysia, foreign funds finally returned in the week ended July 8 after 10 successive weeks of selling, though only marginally, says MIDF Equities Research. Over the three trading days last week, foreign investors were net purchases +RM93.5mil on Bursa, after a negligible –RM1.4mil selling the week prior.
Consumer stocks were among the top gainers, with BAT up 58 sen to RM55, Carlsberg gained 50 sen to RM14.70, Nestle 26 sen to RM76.96, Heineken 24 sen to RM17.04 and F&N 20 sen higher at RM26.20 but Dutch Lady fell RM1.80 to RM59.50.
Genting Bhd rose 25 sen to RM8.22 and added RM1.6 points to the KLCI but Genting Malaysain shed one sen to RM4.28. UMW gained 24 sen to RM5.62, MISC added 10 sen to RM7.40, Tenaga eight sen to RM14.18 and Astro four sen to RM2.89.
Maxis was the biggest mover among the KLCI stocks, up 16 sen to RM6.09 and pushing the KLCI up 2.05 points, Digi and Axiata were flat at RM4.75 and RM5.50 and Telekom shed two sen to RM6.76.
Crude palm oil for third-month delivery rose RM2 to RM2,243 per tonne. IOI Corp added 10 sen to RM4.38 and nudged the KLCI up 1.1 points, PPB Group rose 22 sen to RM16.44, KL Kepong 10 sen to RM23.30 and Sime Darby four sen to RM7.45.
As for banks and finance stocks, HLFG fell 34 sen to RM14.96 and erased 0.66 point from the KLCI, Maybank shed one sen to RM8.19, Public Bank and RHB Bank added one sen each to RM19.34 and RM5.12 while AmBank advanced five sen to RM4.41.
US light crude oil fell 59 cents to US$44.82 and Brent dropped 53 cents to US$46.23. Petronas Dagangan added 16 sen to RM23.60, Petronas Gas 14 sen to RM22.34 and Petronas Chemicals seven sen to RM6.63 while SK Petro edged up one sen to RM1.40.
Borneo Oil ended flat at 18.5 sen with 154.51 million shares done while its warrants were flat at 11 sen. The high trading volume prompted Bursa Securities to query the company which has interests in gold mining also.
Air Asia added dour sen to RM2.63 as analysts were positive about its oulook and earnings in the second quarter.
Among the key regional markets,
Japan’s Nikkei 225 surged 3.98% to 15,708.82;
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added 1.54% to 20,880.50;
CSI 300 gained 0.35% to 3,203.33;
Shanghai’s Composite Index rose 0.23% to 2,994.92;
Shenzhen Composite fell 0.56% to 2,000.98;
Hang Seng China Enterprise gained 1.97% to 8,703.00;
Taiwan’s Taiex added 1.68% to 8,786.47;
South Korea’s Kospi gained 1.3% to 1,988.54 and
Singapore’s Straits Times Index ended up 1.02% to 2,876.14.
Spot gold fell US$6.89 to US$1,359.45 per troy ounce.