KLCI closes up 3.91 points on day of sharp swings

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KUALA LUMPUR (May 14): Malaysian stocks closed slightly higher today, after a kneejerk reaction that saw Barisan Nasional (BN)-related stocks decline in early trade, when the market reopened after a three-day break that saw the opposition alliance winning a historic victory in the 14th General Election.

The FBM KLCI ended the day 3.91 points or 0.21% higher at 1,850.42 points today, with market players anticipating the benchmark index to scale higher in the near term and stay above its resistance level of 1,880-point, taking cues from the rising crude palm oil and crude oil prices.

“We expect the market to remain strong and the sentiment to continue over the near term premises to the new rules and regulations set by the new government, together with the higher crude palm oil and crude oil prices,” Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd senior analyst Kenneth Leong told theedgemarkets.com via telephone.

Oil and gas (O&G)-related counters dominated the list of most active stocks on the local bourse today, led by Sapura Energy Bhd (+26.12%), Hibiscus  Petroleum Bhd (+8.67%), UMW Oil & Gas Corp Bhd (+12.73%) and Sumatec Resources Bhd (+37.5%), in line with rising crude oil prices.

At the same time, shares in Eden Inc Bhd — which is linked to Datuk Fakhri Yassin Mahiaddin, the son of newly-minted Home Affairs Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin — rose to an intraday high of 44 sen to close 144.12% higher, while Opcom Holdings Bhd shares closed up 49.59% to 90.5 sen, boosted by news that its major shareholder Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir is now the Chief Minister of Kedah.

Top losers included George Kent (M) Bhd, Gamuda Bhd, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, My E.G. Services Bhd (MyEG), Prestariang Bhd Axiata Group Bhd, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, Lingkaran Trans Kota Holdings Bhd, Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd and Gabungan AQRS Bhd.

It is worth noting that some of these stocks, particularly George Kent and MyEG, are perceived to be linked to the past government BN.

A total of 6.58 billion shares, worth RM7.31 billion, exchanged hands on Bursa. There were 815 gainers versus 364 decliners, while 336 counters closed unchanged.

Leong expects the KLCI to continue towards positive trajectory and trend higher, as the number of winners has outperformed losers.

“It is a mixture of different companies that push the KLCI higher, but the main anchor was Nestle (M) Bhd and Public Bank Bhd.

“However, we did see shares of many government-linked companies being sold off and closed down, such as George Kent and MyEG,” Leong added.

Across Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed up 0.47%, South Korea's Kospi was down 0.06%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 1.35%.

Reuters reported overall gains in the market may be limited on Monday, as the weak yen trend has paused, with the US dollar trading flat at 109.330 yen.

“While many companies have their dollar-yen assumptions at 105 yen, the market remains cautious about the risk of rising yen,” said Yutaka Miura, a senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities, in the report.