KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 2 (Bernama) -- Malaysia’s 15-month high Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) in December, coupled with India's tax revision on palm oil, has supported Bursa Malaysia to stay in the black at mid-afternoon.

A dealer said the two good news had boosted investors' confidence in the local equity market.

At 3.05 pm, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) rose 6.58 points to 1,595.34 from Tuesday's close of 1,588.98 after opening at 1,590.98.

Market breadth remained positive as advancers outweighed decliners 508 to 319, while 344 counters remained unchanged, 774 untraded and 13 others suspended.

Turnover amounted to 2.20 billion shares worth RM1.07 billion.

In a statement today, IHS Markit PMI data said Malaysia’s headline PMI climbed to a 15-month high to 50.0 in December 2019 from 49.5 in November, thanks to further momentum gains in output and new orders.

The current PMI reading is indicative of annual gross domestic product growth of approximately 5.5 per cent.

Meanwhile, in a separate statement today, Public Investment Bank said India’s Ministry of Finance cut import duties on crude palm oil and refined palm oil from Southeast Asian countries effective Wednesday.

It said the duty on CPO was lowered to 37.5 per cent from 40 per cent, while the tax on refined CPO was cut to 45 per cent from 50 per cent.

“The narrower duty differential between crude palm oil (CPO) and refined CPO to 7.5 per cent from 10 per cent will likely see Indian buyers switching their demand from CPO to refined CPO, namely palm olein,” it said.

Reacting to the positive news, all the three plantation-linked counters on the FBM KLCI's 30 constituent stocks were traded higher at mid-afternoon, with KLK gaining 32 sen to RM25.12, Sime Darby Plantation garnering three sen to RM5.48 and IOI Corporation was two sen firmer at RM4.63.

The increase in index-linked counters were led by IHH and Petronas Chemicals, with both rising nine sen each to RM5.56 and RM7.44, respectively.

The actives included Vivocom and its warrant, which added half-a-sen each to two sen and one sen, respectively, Avillion and TDM perked one sen each to 15 sen and 43 sen, respectively, while Bumi Armada was 1.5 sen better at 54.5 sen.

Top gainer Carlsberg jumped 40 sen to RM29.62, while top loser Nestle declined RM1.30 to RM145.70.

The FBM Emas Index strengthened 49.20 points to 11,372.69 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index was 46.88 points higher at 11,994.80. 

The FBMT 100 Index elevated 46.34 points to 11,160.89, the FBM 70 accumulated 60.42 points to 14,267.23 and the FBM Ace was 139.58 points stronger at 5,366.17.

Sector-wise, the Industrial Products and Services Index ticked up 1.66 points to 155.06, the Financial Services Index inched up 61.69 points to 15,525.86 and the Plantation Index firmed up 31.17 points to 7,764.54.




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