KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 30): Sime Darby Bhd and PPB Group Bhd gained about 2% each, as Malaysian crude palm oil (CPO) prices reached an 18-month high on concerns of lower output, due to year-end monsoon rains and El Nino-related dryness.
At 3:39pm, PPB rose 32 sen to RM15.98, with 292,800 shares transacted.
Sime Darby climbed 17 sen at 3.41pm to RM7.82, with some four million shares traded.
PPB and Sime Darby were among Bursa Malaysia's top ten gainers.
Reuters reported that the benchmark palm oil contract for March on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange rose 0.2% to RM2,488 a tonne at the end of the morning session.
The contract hit an intra-day high of RM2,504, the most since June 25, 2014.
"There's some year-end covering going on, and people are expecting a decline in December production. People are expecting a decline by high single digit (percent)," Reuters quoted a trader at a brokerage here, as saying.
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