KLCI closes slightly lower but small oil, gas stocks advance

KUALA LUMPUR – The FBM KLCI closed slightly lower on Thursday, tracking the cautious key Asian markets after the weak close on Wall Street but crude oil prices and gold prices rallied on tensions in the Middle East.

At 5pm, the KLCI was down 0.68 of a point or 0.04% to 1,818.42, weighed by losses in Petronas Chemicals and Genting Bhd which erased nearly 1.5 points from the index.

Turnover was 2.44 billion shares valued at RM1.95bil. There were 426 gainers, 397 losers and 343 counters unchanged.

Reuters reported Hong Kong shares finished lower on Thursday in line with most Asian markets, which dropped due to tension in the Middle East and losses on Wall Street.

US crude oil rose USUS$2.14 to USUS$51.35 and Brent USUS$2.02 to USUS$58.50. Gold added USUS$17.56 to USUS$1,213.04.

At Bursa Malaysia, small cap oil and gas stocks rose in active trade. Sumatec added one sen to 23 sen, its warrants eked out 0.5 sen to 1.55 sen. Perisai added 4.5 sen to 58.5 sen and KNM 5.5 sen higher at 70 sen.

Uzma jumped 25 sen to RM2.24, Petronas Daganagan added 22 sen to RM19.60 and SapuraKencana eight sen to RM2.40. However, Petronas Chemicals fell seven sen to RM5.43 on profit taking and erased 0.97 point from the KLCI. Petronas Gas was flat at RM23.03.

Tech and Internet related stocks fell with Inari down 17 sen to RM3.22, its warrants lost 13 sen to to RM2.89 and Globetronics was down 12 sen to RM5.28.

As for consumer stocks, BAT fell 62 sen to RM69.38 but Nestle added 40 sen to RM74

Among the plantations, KL Kepong fell 18 sen to RM22.52, PPB lost four sen to RM15.14, IOI Corp three sen to RM4.63.

CCM Duopharma Biotech rose 20 sen to RM3.80 and CCM six sen to RM1.10.

The ringgit firmer against the US dollar to 3.6620 from the previous close of 3.6660.

Among the key regional markets,

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.39% to 19,471.12;

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.13% to 24,497.08;

Shanghai’s Composite Index rose 0.58% to 3,682.10;

Taiwan’s Taiex fell 0.5% to 9,619.12;

South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.99% to 2,022.56 and

Singapore’s Straits Times Index rose 0.41% to 3,433.02.

– The Star

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