CI marginally higher on last-minute buying

Last-minute buying in selected heavyweights pushed the local benchmark to close slightly positive, dealers said.

At 5 pm, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) was 0.29 of a point higher at 1,877.34, after moving between 1,868.14 and 1,879.59 throughout the day.

A dealer said most major Asian stock markets were also higher today, after US unemployment claims fell to an eight-year low and tensions over the downing of a Malaysia Airlines jetliner eased.

The positive sentiment was fuelled by favourable US jobs data indicating that the world's largest economy is continuing to recover.

Investors have been on the sidelines since Flight MH17 was shot down last week over a part of eastern Ukraine controlled by pro-Russian separatists, killing all 298 people on board.

The dealer said fears of aggressive sanctions against Russia, a major energy producer with close economic ties with Europe, have dimmed somewhat, boosting appetite for riskier assets such as stocks.

On the scoreboard, the Finance Index rose 25.21 points to 17,354.11, while the Plantation Index advanced 28.19 points to 9,091.77 and the Industrial Index rose 7.23 points to 3,255.11.

The FBM Emas Index improved 8.63 points to 13,110.91, FBMT100 Index added 2.42 points to 12,683.89, the FBM 70 gained 4.49 points to 14,384.09, but the FBM Ace declined 32.36 points to 7,026.3.

Losers led gainers by 419 to 406, with 352 counters unchanged, 458 untraded and 39 others suspended.

Total volume decreased to 1.7 billion units valued at RM1.63 billion, from 2.03 billion units valued at RM1.99 billion transacted on Thursday.

The market will be closed on Monday and Tuesday next week for Hari Raya Aidilfitri holidays and will resume trading on Wednesday.

Among active shares, Scomi rose two sen to 41.5 sen, market debutant Heng Huat was 11 sen higher at 56 sen, but Talam Transform and Sumatec Resources eased half a sen each to 11.5 sen and 40 sen, respectively.

Of the heavyweights, Maybank was flat at RM9.91, Public Bank lost 12 sen to RM19.88, TNB dipped 16 sen to RM12,40, while Axiata rose four sen to RM6.89.

Main Market volume declined to 1.17 billion units valued at RM1.5 billion, from 1.6 billion units valued at RM1.89 billion on Thursday.

Turnover on the ACE market rose to 499 million shares worth RM122.11 million, from Thursday's 357.02 million shares worth RM92.55 million.

Warrants declined to 24.49 million units valued at RM3.38 million, from 58.53 million units worth RM8.4 million previously.

Consumer products accounted for 92.27 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products 194.43 million, construction 72.38 million, trade and services 458.69 million, technology 56.3 million, infrastructure 9.52 million, SPAC 37.6 million, finance 36.91 million, hotels 2.9 million, properties 186.15 million, plantations 16.09 million, mining 118,700, REITs 8.29 million and closed/fund 8,000. – Bernama, July 25, 2014.