KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips rose in early trade on March 13, powered by gains in KL Kepong, Public Bank and Maybank as investors picked up battered down stocks. At 9.06am, the KLCI was up 7.68 points to 846.07. Turnover was 8.99 million shares valued at RM8.51 million. HwangDBS Vickers Research said selling activity on Bursa might slow down on March 13 after the KLCI had already fallen 30.1 points or 3.5% since March 6, with the depressed sentiment also likely to be mitigated by Wall Street’s continued relief rebound. “Hence, the KLCI will probably swing sideways with a marginal upward bias ahead, though we reckon its potential upside will be fairly restricted. On the chart, the key market barometer is not expected to break past the 860 resistance level anytime soon. “Meanwhile, plantation counters – which stood relatively resilient of late – may come under pressures as industry experts who spoke at the annual Palm & Lauric Oils Conference & Exhibition that ended yesterday painted a lower crude palm oil (CPO) price outlook,” it said. HwangDBS Vickers Research said the consensus view was that CPO price will hover between RM1,500 and RM2,100 per tonne in the second half of this year. The three-month CPO futures contract was trading at RM1,920 / tonne, which is already at the upper end of the forecast range. BAT rose 50 sen to RM44.25, KL Kepong added 30 sen to RM10.30, Public Bank and its foreign shares 15 sen each to RM7.20 and RM7 while Maybank gained eight sen to RM4.14, snapping its 11 days of straight losses. Sime Darby, Tenaga and Tanjong gained 10 sen each to RM5.45, RM6.15 and RM14.10 respectively.
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