Friday, July 8, 2011

KLCI closes at new high again, eyes 1,600

KUALA LUMPUR: Fund buying in the last hour nudged the FBM KLCI to close at a fresh historic high on Friday, July 8 despite a more cautious broader market where investors' appetite was restrained by the Saturday rally by several groups.

The KLCI closed up 4.5 points to 1,594.74, the highest ever for the 30-stock index, lifted by gains in Petronas Gas, MISC, GENTING BHD [] and Axiata Group. The four stocks pushed up the index by 3.99 points.

Turnover was 810.53 million shares valued at RM1.57 billion, contributed by the call warrants of MSM and Malton which totalled 50.49 million units. The broader market displayed the cautious sentiment with decliners leading advancers 390 to 287 while 366 stocks were unchanged.

The ringgit rose to 2.9923 against the US dollar, up 0.175 from the previous close of 3.0098. This was the strongest since May 11 when it was at 2.979. The crude palm oil third-month futures rose RM26 to RM3,080 while US light crude oil was at US$98.01.

The local funds took their cue from the firmer close on key regional markets.

Institutional dealers said there were some local fund buying of key stocks but the overall market sentiment was somewhat cautious, as reflected in the lower volume and the outcome of the rally as several parties and activities vowed to converge at Stadium Merdeka.

Reuters reported bank stocks helped Chinese stocks post a third consecutive week of gains on Friday and extend their recovery from nine-month lows, with retail investors bargain hunting ahead of China's June inflation data due on Saturday.

Thin trading volume and lack of participation by institutional investors, though, suggested equity markets in China and Hong Kong may struggle to keep a rally going next week, without a further pick-up in bank stocks.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index gained 0.9 percent on the day and 1.5 percent on the week to close at 22,726.4 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index closed up 0.1 percent on the day and 1.4 percent on the week to 2,797.8 points.

Gold prices eased on Friday, tracking losses in the euro versus the dollar ahead of key U.S. jobs data, but remained on track for their biggest weekly gain since late April as risk-averse investors recovered their appetite for the metal, Reuters reported.

Spot gold was bid at $1,526.00 an ounce at 0927 GMT against $1,531.85 late in New York on Thursday. U.S. gold futures for August delivery eased $4.20 to $1,526.40.

Brent crude fell over $1 on Friday ahead of closely watched U.S. non-farm payrolls data, as investors booked some profits after data from the previous session lifted confidence on the global economy and pushed Brent up nearly $5. ICE Brent crude was down $1.33 cents at $117.26 a barrel by 0915 GMT.

At Bursa Malaysia, Petronas Gas rose 52 sen to RM14, Nestle 32 sen to RM47.30, MISC 20 sen RM7.70 while Genting Bhd added 12 sen to RM11.22 and heavyweight Axiata three sen to RM5.05.

MSM added four sen to RM5.59 and the call warrants MSM-CB rallied 24.5 sen to 45.5 sen with 25.76 million units done.

Jerneh-WA was the top loser, down 34 sen to RM1.09 while Malton-LA shed 16 sen to 84 sen. AFG snapped its rally, down 16 sen to RM3.46 while Top Glove shed 14 sen to RM5.34, Tradewinds PLANTATION []s 13 sen to RM3.50 and MMHE 12 sen to RM8.42.

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