Friday, July 23, 2010

Asian markets extend gains

KUALA LUMPUR: Asian markets, buoyed by some of the US earnings reports, advanced on Friday, July 23 ahead of the European bank stress results scheduled for later in the day.

Results of the tests on 91 European lenders are eagerly awaited by markets whose scepticism about the sector has driven up funding costs and weighed on share prices since Greece's debt crisis triggered fears that the euro zone could unravel, according to Reuters.

The euro jumped more than 1% against the dollar on Thursday to around $1.29 and European bank stocks rose across the board in a sign that investors are starting to hope the worst is behind the region's financial industry, it said.

But a lack of details about the terms of the tests and earlier divisions among European Union members over how much information will be made public has made investors wonder if the assessments would be tough or transparent enough, said Reuters.

Nikkei 225 +2.42% 9,444.47 Hang Seng Index +1.09% 20,814.60 Taiex +1.42% 7,775.19 Kospi Index +0.97% 1,752.32 Straits Times Index +0.60% 2,973.28 Shanghai Composite Index +0.38% 2,572.26 ''

At Bursa Malaysia, the FBM KLCI rose 7.18 points to 1,343.23 at 12.30pm, lifted by gains including at Sime Darby, CIMB, MMC Corp, IOI Corp and Genting.

Gainers beat losers by 440 to 216, while 263 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 552.43 million shares valued at RM660.46 million.

Crude palm oil for the third month delivery fell RM5 per tonne to RM2,514; crude oil shed 27 cents per barrel to US79.03 while gold added 70 cents per ounce to US$1,195.65.

Among the major gainers on Bursa Malaysia, Sime Darby rose 21 sen to RM7.80, CIMB and Petronas Gas up eight sen each to RM7.28 and RM10.32, MMC Corp 13 sen to RM2.58, while IOI Corp, Genting and Genting Malaysia added four sen each to RM5.11, RM7.62 and RM2.68, respectively.

Meanwhile, Axiata, AMMB and Maxis gained two sen each to RM4.09, RM5.11 and RM5.30, respectively.
Southern Acids jumped 37 sen to RM1.63 following the resolution in the status of appointment of interim receivers and managers.

Other gainers included Tan Chong, BHIC, Panasonic, Goh Ban Huat and APM Automotive.

Cycle & Carriage was the top loser and fell RM1.22 to RM6.24 on disappointing dividends. It declared an interim dividend of 5 sen a share compared with RM1.25 a year ago.

Bintulu Port lost 17 sen to RM6.33, DFZ Capital 14 sen to RM3.39, Uzma and HELP down eight sen to RM1.53 and RM4.36, while KPJ lost seven sen to RM3.72.

Tebrau was the most actively traded stock with 24.6 million shares done. The counter rose 4.5 sen to 72.5 sen. Other actives included Berjaya Corp, MTD ACPI Engineering, UEM Land, Zelan and Mulpha.

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