Wednesday, January 5, 2011

FBM KLCI closes at record high for third day, banks lift

KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI closed at another record high for the third day on Wednesday, Jan 5, bucking the regional markets which took a breather, as foreign funds picked up bank stocks including CIMB, Maybank and Public Bank.

The 30-stock KLCI closed up 14.28 points or 0.92% at 1,566.17 but off the intra-day high of 1,571.85. Turnover surged to 2.35 billion shares valued at RM3.69 billion. Advancers beat decliners 547 to 320 while 273 counters were unchanged.

Among key regional markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 retreated 0.17% to 10,380.77, Shanghai's Composite Index 0.49% lower at 2,838.59, Taiwan's Taiex1.68% at 8,846.31 but Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index eked out 0.38% in gains to 23,757.82 and Singapore's Straits Times Index inched up 0.02% to 3,250.89.

Commodity prices fell for a second day in a row on Wednesday, hurt by profit-taking and a stronger dollar and putting pressure on world equity markets. Oil, which had only a few days ago looked to be heading to $100 a barrel again, fell 71 cents to US$88.67 a barrel. Crude palm oil futures shed RM95 to RM3,768.

Reuters reported investors were also eyeing U.S. jobs data due on Friday for confirmation that the world's largest economy is recovering, a key factor in recent equity rallies.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback's value against major currencies, edged up 0.1% to 79.539. The ringgit was at 3.0695 to the US dollar.

At Bursa Malaysia, banking stocks were among the top gainers on foreign buying on expectations of firmer economic outlook and a stronger ringgit.

CIMB rose 35 sen to RM9, Public Bank foreign 26 sen to RM23.46, Maybank and Public Bank 24 sen each to RM9.01 and RM13.42.

Kulim, which was upgraded by analysts following its exposure to the strong growth in the fast-food consumer market and firm CPO prices via its PLANTATION []s, rose the most. It climbed 48 sen to RM13.24, while United Plantations added 20 sen to RM17.12.

Petronas Chemicals advanced in active trade, with its shares climbing 22 sen to RM5.80 with 67.8 8 million shares done. The CB call warrants surged 8.5 sen to 23.5 sen on the first trading day, while the CA call warrants added 3.5 sen to 36.5 sen.

Ramunia was in focus also, and it jumped 7.56 sen to 58 sen with 68.39 million shares done. The warrants added 2.5 sen to 32 sen.

Tenaga shed five sen to RM6.67, but off the low of RM6.62 with 16.55 million shares done. Investors are concerned about the impact of rising coal prices on the power giant's earnings, especially without the much-needed tariff hike.

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