Friday, December 17, 2010

KLCI struggles to cross 1,500

KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI stayed in positive territory at the mid-day break on Friday, Dec 17 but struggled to breach the psychologically-crucial 1,500 level, as Asian markets were mixed on the back of tepid investor sentiment.

Several Asian markets advanced as the US economy showed new signs the recovery was gaining traction with data on Thursday that new claims for jobless aid fell last week and factory activity in the Mid-Atlantic region grew at its quickest pace in more than five and a half years this month.

However, key markets including Japan, Hong Kong and China remained in the red as investors have tended to stay on the sidelines or take profit ahead of the year-end holidays.

The FBM KLCI was up 0.11% or 1.64 points to 1,499.16 at the mid-day break, lifted by gains including at Axiata, Gamuda, AMMB, Genting Malaysia and MMC Corp.

Gainers led losers by 361 to 247, while 266 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 583.29 million shares valued at RM743.05 million.

The ringgit strengthened 0.08% to 3.1340 versus the US dollar, crude palm oil for the third month delivery rose RM4 to RM3,587, crude oil added 47 cents per barrel to US$88.17 and gold jumped US$5.07 to US$1,375.35.

At the regional markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 slipped 0.17% to 10,293.45, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index shed 0.11% to 22,644.21, the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.34% to 2,888.34 while Taiwan's Taiex gained 0.65% to 8,839.17, South Korea's Kospi was up 0.60% to 2,021.39 and Singapore's Straits Times Index added 0.09% to 3,150.65.

Metrod was the top gainer this morning and was 25 sen to RM3.80; Hap Seng rose 19 sen to RM5.97, Tanjung Offshore gained 13 sen to RM1.60, MTD and KKB Engineering rose 12 sen each to RM8.63 and RM1.99, Unisem gained 11 sen to RM2.16, Gamuda was up 10 sen to RM3.83 and SapuraCrest rose nine sen to RM3.04.

AMMB added seven sen to RM6.71, Genting Malaysia rose five sen to RM3.39 while Axiata and MMC Corporation added three sen each to RM4.64 and RM2.83.

Glove makers extended their losses this morning, with Supermax down 14 sen to RM4.19, Top Glove down 13 sen to RM4.99, Kossan fell five sen to RM3.18, Latexx lost two sen to RM2.52 while Hartalega and Rubberex lost one sen each to RM4.95 and 83 sen.

Other decliners included Glenealy, BAT, Tahps and Digi.

Sozo Global, which made its debut on the Main Market today, was the most actively traded counter with 36.3 million shares done. The stock advanced 1.5 sen to 81.5 sen.

Scomi Marine, which proposed to dispose four of its marine logistics companies to its 80.54%-owned subsidiary PT Rig Tenders Indonesia Tbk for RM538.3 million, gained 4.5 sen to 58.5 sen.

MAA Holdings rose 7.5 sen to 70 sen after it received Bank Negara's approval to enter into talks to dispose its stake in its insurance business.

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