KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 ― The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) trended higher at mid-afternoon today as buying in selected heavyweights, led by Public Bank Bhd and IHH Healthcare Bhd, continued to support the barometer index.

At 3pm, the FBM KLCI rose 8.72 points to 1,557.32 from yesterday’s close of 1,548.60. It opened 5.55 points better at 1,554.15.

However, market breadth was negative with losers outpacing gainers 445 to 381, while 443 counters were unchanged, 986 untraded, and 11 others suspended.

Turnover amounted to 2.64 billion units worth RM1.23 billion.

Among the heavyweights, Maybank rose three sen to RM8.98, Public Bank gained seven sen to RM4.60, Petronas Chemicals improved six sen to RM10.08, IHH Healthcare firmed 15 sen to RM6.58, and CIMB was two sen higher at RM5.08.

Of the actives, Techna-X fell 2.5 sen to 5.5 sen, Serba Dinamik eased one sen to 15.5 sen, and Yong Tai dropped 1.5 sen to 8.5 sen, while Sapura Energy and Eduspec were flat at 7.5 sen and two sen, respectively.

Among the top gainers, Nestle advanced RM1.70 to RM134.50, PPB widened 32 sen to RM16.86, Malaysia Airports bagged 29 sen to RM6.49, Hong Leong Bank gained 26 sen to RM21.00, and United Malacca improved 23 sen to RM5.55.

On the index board, the FBM ACE dropped 42.88 points to 5,320.36, the FBM Emas Index advanced 54.76 points to 11,115.17, the FBMT 100 Index firmed 58.28 points to 10,783.36, the FBM Emas Shariah Index added 29.16 points to 11,578.43, and the FBM 70 gained 62.73 points to 13,201.58.

Sector-wise, the Plantation Index decreased 7.20 points to 8,252.99 and the Industrial Products and Services Index was 1.02 points lower at 199.40, while the Financial Services Index jumped 105.30 points to 16,639.79. ― Bernama