Dealers said the support by local funds in selected heavyweights managed to push the CI to a higher level amid mixed expectations by analysts on the performance of the local bourse this year.
The Industrial Index went up 15.23 points to 2,167.95, the Finance Index surged 102.36 points to 7,296.56 and the Plantation Index edged up 3.07 points to 4,755.94.
The FBMEmas increased 31.37 points to 6,074.37, the FBM30 was 42.39 points higher at 5,982.46 while the FBMMesdaq decreased 11.88 points to 3,448.82 and the FBM2BRD dropped 19.42 points to 4,050.85.
Losers led gainers by 306 to 228 while 212 counters were unchanged, 506 untraded and 28 others suspended.
Turnover eased to 743.52 million shares valued at RM1.12 billion from yesterday’s close of 765.43 million shares worth RM1.08 billion
Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd rose 40 sen, or 4 per cent, to RM10.40 , the highest level since September 12. Sime Darby Bhd, Malaysia’s biggest palm-oil planter, added 15 sen, or 2.7 per cent, to RM5.80.
Palm oil futures in Malaysia jumped 7.8 per cent to RM1,980
a metric ton yesterday, the most since November 3. Futures traded at RM1,907 as of 5 pm local time.
Bumiputra-Commerce Holdings Bhd jumped 50 sen, or 7.7 per cent, to RM7.00, its biggest gain since January 8, 2004. It’s the best performer on the benchmark Composite Index. Credit Suisse Group told investors to buy higher so-called “beta” stocks such as Bumiputra-Commerce. The bank is the “highest beta institutional stock,” Credit Suisse said in a report today. Beta is an indicator of volatility.
British American Tobacco Bhd dropped 75 sen, or 1.7 per cent, to RM44, the most since December 26. Credit Suisse said in a report today the stock, which “performed so well in 2008 will likely underperform in 2009.”
IJM Corp, Malaysia’s third-largest builder by value, advanced 8 sen, or 2.4 per cent, to RM3.38, the highest level since October 23, after JPMorgan Chase & Co raised its rating on the stock to “overweight” from “neutral.”
Parkson Holdings Bhd slumped 70 sen, or 16 per cent, to RM3.58, the steepest decline since Oct 17, 2002. Its Beijing-based department store chain unit, Parkson Retail Group Ltd, said sales growth slowed in the fourth quarter as China’s economy cooled.
Top Glove Corp added 8 sen, or 2 per cent, to RM4.10, its highest level since September 10. The world’s largest rubber-glove maker said fiscal first-quarter profit rose 16 per cent to RM34.5 million from RM29.8 million a year earlier. Sales increased 15 per cent to RM386.1 million, it said in a statement.
WCT Bhd slid 15 sen, or 12 per cent, to RM1.14, its lowest since October 29, extending yesterday’s 30 per cent plunge. The stock is the biggest decliner on the benchmark Composite Index.
The Malaysian engineering company said its worst-case direct loss from a racecourse contract in Dubai that was canceled is about RM300 million. - Agencies