KUALA LUMPUR: Plantation stocks including KL Kepong and heavyweight Sime Darby kicked off the new week on March 16 on a firm note, buoyed by firm crude palm oil prices but Tenaga and Maybank fell. At 10am, the KL Composite Index was up 1.13 points to 844.58. Turnover was 40.77 million shares valued at RM41.7 million. There were 84 gainers, 81 losers and 87 stocks uchanged. Light crude oil was trading lower, down US$1.83 to US$44.42 while the ringgit was quoted at RM3.693 to the US dollar. Most Asian markets were higher on hopes of the governments’ stimulus measures. Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 2.43% or 184 points to 7,753.51 and Shanghai’s Composite Index rose just 0.08% to 2,130.56. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index opened 1.3% higher at 12,687.81 but Singapore’s Straits Times Index fell 0.84% to 1,564.26. Kenanga Investment Bank said the market was expected to trade cautiously given the lingering uncertainties of global slowdown and the sustainability of the recent US market uptick. “Short-term, our local market is looking for some reprieve after the sell-off last week with 829 – 836 levels as possible supports,” it said. The research house said unless and until 850 levels were retaken, the bears were likely to remain in the driving seat. “Medium term support remained at the 829 to 801 level. Our recommendation of selective accumulation remained,” it said KLK rose 20 sen to RM10.60, Sime 10 sen to RM5.50 and TH Plantations six sen to RM1.48. MISC added 15 sen to RM8.50 and Public Bank foreign 10 sen higher to RM7.10. Muhibbah rose 1.5 sen to 70.5 sen in active trade. Resorts fell two sen in active trade while Axis Inc fell four sen to 6.5 sen. Tenaga fell 10 sen to RM6.05 and BCHB shed five sen to RM6.15. Maybank was below RM4, shedding two sen to RM3.98 on concerns about its Bank Internasional Indonesia acquisition.
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