KUALA LUMPUR (May 19): The FBM KLCI rose 1.11 points or 0.1% as higher crude oil prices led to oil and gas companies' share gains. Malaysian equities also tracked Asian share gains, following U.S. stocks' overnight recovery.
At 5pm, the KLCI closed at 1,768.28 points, after reaching its intraday high and low at 1,771.50 and 1,767.89 points respectively.
KLCI-linked oil and gas stock Petronas Dagangan Bhd rose 68 sen to RM24.76, while Petronas Gas Bhd ended flat at RM19 after rising to its intraday high at RM19.56. Petronas Dagangan was Bursa Malaysia's top gainer.
Across Bursa Malaysia, 3.27 billion shares, worth RM3.24 billion, were traded. Gainers outpaced decliners at 623 versus 302 respectively.
Reuters reported oil futures rose on Friday to the highest in nearly a month, on growing optimism big producing countries will extend output cuts to curb a persistent glut in crude, with key benchmarks heading for a second week of gains.
Brent crude was up 28 cents or 0.5% at US$52.79 at 0630 GMT. The contract earlier rose to the highest since April 21 and is on track for a nearly 4% climb this week, its second week of gains.
In Malaysia, TA Securities Holdings Bhd senior technical analyst Stephen Soo told theedgemarkets.com: “Oil and gas stocks are rather buoyant now and all eyes will be on these counters soon. The degree of production cuts may be higher than the market’s expectations, but this would mean oil prices will be firmer."
“Further[more], Asian (share) markets are also recovering, following a period of being under pressure on concerns over U.S. interest-rate hike announcements,” Soo said.
Across Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 climbed 0.19%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.15%. In overnight U.S. share trades, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.27%, S&P 500 increased 0.37%, while Nasdaq Composite was 0.73% higher.
U.S. shares recovered on Thursday, after closing lower on Wednesday, amid allegations U.S. President Donald Trump tried to influence a federal probe, which sparked talk of his impeachment.
It was reported former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief James Comey said in a memo that Trump had asked him to end a probe into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's ties with Russia.