Select blue chips lift KLCI by 0.26%

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KUALA LUMPUR (May 17): The FBM KLCI rose 0.26% at midday break today, lifted by select blue chips, as well as as s firmer economic performance by the country.

The Malaysian economy, measured by the indicator gross domestic product (GDP), has grown by 5.4% year-on-year in the first quarter (1Q) of 2018, underpinned by continued expansion in private sector activity and strong support from net exports, according to Bank Negara Malaysia

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI gained 4.91 points to 1,863.17.

Gainers and losers were tied at 296 each, while 575 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.63 billion shares, valued at RM1.52 billion.

Top gainers included Nestle (M) Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Ajinomoto (M) Bhd, Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd, Padini Holdings Bhd, Top Glove Corp Bhd, Genting Malaysia Bhd and PMB Techology Bhd.

Actives included My E.G. Services Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, NetX Holdings Bhd, Advance Synegy Bhd, Borneo Oil Bhd, Zelan Bhd, WCT Holdings Bhd and Media Prima Bhd.

Losers included Danainfra Nasional Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, George Kent (M) Bhd, Tasek Corp Bhd, My E.G., Batu Kawan Bhd, DRB-Hicom Bhd and Willowglen MSC Bhd.

Asian shares edged higher on Thursday, while the euro gained some respite, after hitting five-month lows a day earlier, according to Reuters.

The common currency slumped on Wednesday, following a report Italian populist parties that are trying to form a coalition government, could ask the European Central Bank to forgive 250 billion euros of Italian debt, Reuters said.

Affin Hwang Capital Research said U.S. stocks rebounded from Tuesday’s losses and Treasury yields pushed towards 3.1%, as economic data remained strong, whilst U.S.-China trade talks sre expected to continue as U.S. lawmakers press Xi’s aid on China’s unfair trade practices.

“Locally, stocks in Bursa remain upbeat as PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has been released from jail, after receiving a full royal pardon. 

“Crude oil prices continue their upward trend, hitting the highest level since 2014, while ringgit remains steady, thus likely to boost positive sentiments in Bursa Malaysia.

“The FBM KLCI Index is anticipated to drift higher, with more focus on consumer and oil & gas stocks,” the research house said.