Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Modest gains at Asian markets, gold soars to record high

KUALA LUMPUR: Key Asian markets rose modestly on Tuesday, Aug 23 as data from China indicated continued growth, while gold hit another record above US$1,910 an ounce as investors continued to worry about the health of the global economy.

Investors appeared to take heart from HSBC's China flash purchasing managers' index (PMI) data, which, although showing a mild slowing of the factory sector in August, indicated the world's number two economy was still growing robustly, according to Reuters.

Most markets extended gains after the Chinese flash PMI data from HSBC, which showed the index edging up to 49.8 in August from July's final reading of 49.3, it said.

The FBM KLCI reversed its losses at mid-morning and was up 1.12 points to 1,473.28 at the mid-day break on some mild bargain hunting.

The broader market, however, was weaker with 344 losers, 231 gainers and 268 counters trading unchanged. Volume was 363.59 million shares valued at RM693.19 million.

The ringgit eased 0.07% versus the US dollar to 2.9730; crude palm oil futures for the third month delivery rose RM31 per tonne to RM3,053, crude oil up 68 cents per barrel to US$85.10 while gold jumped US$5.85 an ounce to US$1,903.45.

At the regional markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.54% to 8,674.73, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index up 0.56% to 1,596.30, the Shanghai Composite Index up 0.56% 2,529.99, Taiwan's Taiex rose 2.27% to 7,478.48, South Korea's Kospi jumped 3.20% to 1,765.40 and Singapore's Straits Times Index added 0.39% to 2,742.39.

Chin Teck was the top gainer this morning and added 87 sen to RM9.25; Nestle, DKSH, DiGi and HLFG added 12 sen each to RM48.10, RM1.49, RM29.90 and RM12.18 respectively, Petronas Dagangan and IOI Corp up 10 sen each to RM17.40 and RM4.55, while Cocoaland and Fima Corp rose nine sen each to RM2 and RM5.81.

Newly listed Sunway Bhd, an entity arising from the merger between SUNWAY HOLDINGS BHD [] and SUNWAY CITY BHD [], made a disappointing debut on Bursa Malaysia and was the top loser this morning.

Sunway fell 35 sen to RM2.45 with 7.49 million shares traded.

Other losers included Panasonic and F&N that fell 24 sen each to RM23.02 andRM17.26, Sungei Bagan 22 sen to RM2.60, Metech 16.5 sen to 31.5 sen, Uzma and Supermax 14 sen each to RM1.78 and RM2.97, MMSV 12.5 sen to 11 sen while Inno fell 12 sen to RM1.17.

MUI was the most actively traded counter with 28.8 million shares done. The stock added half a sen to 20.5 sen.

Other actives included Axiata, DVM, KNM, Petronas Chemicals, E&O and CIMB.

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