KUALA LUMPUR (July 14): Malaysian stocks beat the trend today, with closing higher despite regional market turning lower amid the uncertainty in Greece's conditional bailout agreement.
At 5pm, the benchmark index added 4.99 points or 0.29% to close at 1,721.10 points. It had earlier risen to its intraday high of 1,727.07 points before erasing its gains.
Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones by 477 to 287, some 326 counters were traded unchanged. Some 1.47 billion units of shares worth RM1.68 billion changed hands.
Rising stocks include United Plantations Bhd, British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd and Aeon Credit Services (M) Bhd.
Declining stocks are Allianz Malaysia Bhd, Hartalega Holdings Bhd and PPB Group Bhd.
AirAsia Bhd and LCTH Corp Bhd were among most actively traded stocks. LCTH's shares had earlier rose to its 10-year high of 59 sen, before closing at 58 sen.
Commenting on Malaysian stocks today, a technical analyst with a equity research firm who declined to be named told theedgemarkets.com that the overall sentiments of the market remained bearish despite Eurozone leaders reaching a unanimous deal over a third Greek bailout.
He noted the trading volume and the value of shares traded were on the decline.
"However, it is quite encouraging that the benchmark index managed to close in the green zone over the past few days," he added.
He expects FBM KLCI to stay between 1,740 points and 1,700 points within the next few days.
"Should it break its immediate hurdle level of 1,740 points, we may see some upside in the market," he added.
In commodities trading, the benchmark crude oil index — Brent crude slid 2.14% to US$56.61 per barrel while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for August delivery fell 2.24% at US$51.03 per barrel.
Today, the US dollar continued to appreciate by 0.11% against the Malaysian ringgit to quote at 3.8073 to one US dollar.
Regionally, Japan's Nikkei stock index outperformed other markets, closing up 1.47% at 20,385.33 points.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 0.41% to close at 25,120.91 points while Korea's KOSPI index was down 0.11% at 2,059.23 points.
Reuters reported today that Asian shares turned lower and the euro slipped on Tuesday after the initial relief on Greece's conditional bailout agreement gave way to caution, as investors waited to see if the Greek parliament would accept harsh austerity measures as part of the deal.