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Malaysia's main stock index hits new high on fund buying

Publication Date : 08-07-2014


The FBM KLCI hit a fresh all-time high of 1,892.50 points, with analysts attributing the rise to funds buying into the banking and healthcare sectors on rising investor optimism.

The bourse ended the day up 7.59 points or 0.4 per cent, surpassing the previous high of 1,892.33 on June 24.

Turnover was 1.8 billion shares valued at 2.16 billion ringgit (US$679,000).

Gainers outpaced losers by 491 to 357, while 314 counters were unchanged.

CIMB rose nine sen to 7.26 and pushed the KLCI up 1.32 points while Maybank gained seven sen to 9.90 to nudge the index up 1.13 points.

Other banking and finance stocks that saw gains included RHB Cap, which rose 15 sen to 8.70, Public Bank eight sen to 19.98 and Hong Leong Bank four sen to 13.86.

IHH Healthcare rose eight sen to 4.57 and added 1.15 points to the KLCI while Malaysian Airports Holdings Bhd added 25 sen to 8.25.

Among oil and gas-related companies, Petronas Gas gained 22 sen to 24.60.

Malaysian Pacific Industries was the top gainer, up 61 sen to 5.81 after a positive outlook report from CIMB Equities Research.

The South-East Asian markets rose with Singapore’s STI gaining 0.59 per cent to 3,291.57, Thailand’s SET Index rising 0.47 per cent to 1,502.85 and Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite jumping 1.7 per cent to 4,989.03.

Further north, only Taiwan’s Taiex rose marginally by 0.11 per cent to 9,520.20 while Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.37 per cent to 15,379.44, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was 0.02 per cent lower at 23,540.92 and South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.23 per cent to 2,005.12.

US light crude oil fell 24 cents to $103.82 and Brent eight cents lower at $110.56 while spot gold fell $7.52 to $1,313.03.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported that palm oil stockpiles in Malaysia had climbed for a fourth month as output rose to the highest level for June since 2011.

Reserves increased to 1.86 million from 1.84 million tonnes in May and 1.65 million a year earlier, it said, following a poll of planters, analysts and traders.

Production was 1.66 million tonnes, the survey showed.

That’s the highest for June since 1.75 million tonnes three years ago, according to the Malaysian Palm Oil Board. The board releases the data on July 10.

Futures tumbled 17 per cent since reaching an 18-month high in March as production expanded and demand in food and biofuel trailed estimates.

Record US output of soybeans, crushed to make an alternative oil, is adding to global cooking oil supply this year. Retreating prices may extend a third monthly decline in global food costs as measured by the United Nations.

“Exports this year are quite bad and production seems to be very good in the first half, so the market is reflecting those fundamentals,” said David Ng, a Kuala Lumpur-based derivatives specialist at Phillip Futures.

“As long as inventory remains below the two-million-tonne mark, we still can see a bit of support for the market.”

Futures rose 0.5 per cent to 2,414 ringgit ($758.80) a tonne on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Prices tumbled to an eight-month low of 2,362 ringgit ($742.25) on June 12 after reaching 2,916 ringgit ($916.60) on March 11, the highest level since September 2012.

Production may be unchanged or slightly lower this month as plantation workers tend to be less productive in the fasting month of Ramadan and many take leave for Hari Raya, Ivy Ng, an analyst at CIMB Investment Bank Bhd, said by phone.

She said palm oil may trade between 2,350 ringgit ($738.68) and 2,600 ringgit ($817.26) per tonne this month, depending on the progress of soybean planting in the United States and crude oil prices.


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