Asian markets mixed, Top Glove, DiGi, MISC up midday

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KUALA LUMPUR: Asian markets were mixed at midday on March 5 after China’s Premier Wen Jiabao said China will “significantly increase” investment in 2009. At Bursa Malaysia, some buying support for oversold counters including MISC were seen, helping to support the KL Composite Index, while Top Glove and DiGi extended their gains. At 12.30pm, the KL Composite Index was up 0.18 points to 867.11. There were 170 million shares done valued at RM244.56 million. Among Asian markets, Japan’e Nikkei 225 rose 175 points or 2.41% to 7,466.68 and Shanghai’s Composite Index gained 1.8% to 2,237.61. However, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.38% to 12,284.79 and Singapore’s Straits Times Index skidded 1.18% to 1,526.10. Light crude oil eased 28 cents to US$45.1 while crude palm oil futures were marginally lower by RM2 to RM1,869. Nestle rose 50 sen to RM29, making it the top gainer. Top Glove, which benefits from lower commodity prices for its gloves, rose 14 sen to RM4.70. DiGi added 10 sen to RM21.10 and YTL also 10 sen higher to RM7. MISC and its foreign shares rose 10 sen each to RM8.30 and RM8.15 after the recent selling due to weaker shipping outlook. KNM was the most active, unchanged at 37 sen. IOI Corp rose two sen to RM3.68. Dreamgate was unchanged at 11 sen as investors shrugged off concerns about its Cambodia operations despite a rating downgrade on its debt notes. MRCB was unchanged at 84 sen. MAHB gave up yesterday’s gains, down 30 sen to RM2.40 while PPHB lost 24.5 sen to 15.5 sen and Kris Assets-WA lost 22.5 sen to 50 sen. Crane specialist Favelle Favco lost 18.5 sen to 60.5 sen and construction-based Bintai Kinden 16 sen to 13 sen.