FBM KLCI up 0.3% on plantation share gains

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KUALA LUMPUR (Mar 1): The FBM KLCI rose 4.66 points or 0.3%, lifted by plantation counters' gains in line with the rise in crude palm oil (CPO) futures.

At 5pm, the KLCI closed at 1,860.86 while Bursa Malaysia's plantation index rose 92.49 points or 1.16% to 8,083.96. The KLCI rose on bargain hunting today after the index fell 15.26 points yesterday.

Today, Affin Hwang Investment Bank Bhd analyst Nadia Aquilah told theedgemarkets.com that "the gain in plantation counters was in line with the rise in CPO futures". PPB Group Bhd and Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd were among Bursa Malaysia's biggest gainers.

Earlier today, Reuters reported that Malaysian palm oil futures rose to their highest in seven weeks on Thursday morning, supported by firm demand ahead of an industry conference next week. It was reported that the benchmark palm oil contract for May delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was up 0.3 percent at RM2,566 (US$653.26) a tonne at the midday break, in line for a fifth day of gains. It earlier rose to RM2,568, its strongest level since Jan. 11.

Elsewhere, Asian shares were mixed today as the broader market took cue from Wall Street's overnight decline as fears of faster US interest rate hikes continue to weigh on investor sentiment. In China today, it was reported that the share market recouped losses to climb by midday Thursday as consumer and banking firms rose, after a private survey indicated  the country's factory growth rose to a six-month high in February.

In China, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.65% while the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite climbed 0.44%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.56% while South Korea markets were closed for the Independence Movement Day holiday.